Republican Mayra Flores announces 2024 election bid for Congress
The former U.S. Congresswoman and first female Mexican-born member of the House, is launching a bid to retake the South Texas congressional seat.
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More than half a year after losing her 34th South Texas District to Democratic Rep. Vicente Gonzalez in the 2022 midterm elections, former Republican Rep. Mayra Flores announced a comeback bid to regain the seat on Tuesday, July 11, in a rematch against Gonzalez.
Flores, the first Mexican-born congresswoman, first won the 34th Congressional District in a June 2022 special election, which excited Republicans as the party was looking to gain voters in predominantly Latino South Texas.
However, redistricting made the seat easier to win for Democrats and lost to the Democrat five months later in the general election.
The National Republican Congressional Committee had been reportedly working to recruit the former Congresswoman to return, commissioning a poll that showed she could win the district that President Joe Biden won by nearly 16 points during his victorious run to the Oval Office in 2020.
“The people of South Texas, the American people deserve to have a voice in Washington. We want to empower our border patrol agents, strengthen our border security, of course, our economy as well and protect the children like I mentioned before that are being trafficked in this country right now,” Flores said in an interview on “Fox & Friends,” where she made her campaign announcement.
She also released a campaign advertisement in which talked more on her family’s roots in the Rio Grande Valley where she and her father worked in the cotton fields and where she would later represent the community.
“We made history in South Texas last year, but there is more work to be done,” Flores said in a statement. “Joe Biden’s policies are running our country into the ground, and people in our communities are suffering.”
During her appearance on “Fox & Friends,” she criticized Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ work on the border.
“I am announcing for Congress. We are taking back our seat,” she said. “We will flip this district and take back what is ours in 2024.”
The wife of a Border Patrol agent, Flores grew her national profile in 2022 when she won the special election to fill former Democratic Rep. Filemon Vela’s seat. Her victory was touted by Republican lawmakers as a sign that Latinos in Texas were flipping political ideologies.
Flores also said Tuesday she planned to campaign on empowering Border Patrol agents, boosting border security, better protecting children from being trafficked as well as made a plea for Latinos to stay red.
“Our values align with the Republican Party. Our values align. I am pro-God, pro-life, pro-family,” she said.
“The Democrat Party stands against everything we stand for. I am pro-God, pro-life, pro-family. People say all the time, 'Mayra, why are you conservative?' I was born in Mexico — we were raised with strong conservative values, to always put God and family first."
"This is for the people, and I ask the American people to support this campaign. This is a people’s campaign," she added.
However, Democrats say Flores is too far-right for the district and will face yet another battle after losing comfortably to Gonzalez last year.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee commented on Flores’ candidacy, saying, “Running against popular incumbent Vicente Gonzalez and his proven record of fighting for good jobs, affordable health care, and lowering drug prices — it’s clear Flores is barreling towards a repeat defeat.”
The 2024 Republican primary for the 34th District includes Mauro Garza, a self-funding businessman who began his campaign in February.
He was the runner-up last year in the Republican primary for the 15th District, which is represented by Republican U.S. Rep. Monica De La Cruz.