Republicans flip South Texas House seat
Republican Mayra Flores comfortably won a Democrat-held U.S. House seat in South Texas on Tuesday, according to AP.
Why it matters: Flores' victory is a boon to Republicans in a region where they have made substantial gains in recent years and are aiming to pick up more seats in November.
The backdrop: The seat was vacated in March when Democratic Rep. Filemon Vela resigned from the House to work at a lobbying firm.
- Vela had announced a year earlier he wouldn't seek re-election.
By the numbers: Flores, a respiratory care practitioner, was up over Democrat Dan Sanchez, an attorney, by 8 points with 95% of precincts reporting.
- Vela won the seat by 14 points in 2020, and by 20 points in 2018.
- The region had a notable swing toward former President Trump between 2016 and 2020.
- With 51% of the vote, Flores succeeded in avoiding a runoff election, which occurs in Texas if no candidate wins a majority.
Yes, but: Flores' tenure may not last longer than seven months, given that she's set to face Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-Texas) in a newly drawn district that's far more favorable to Democrats.
- Cook Political Report's Dave Wasserman said the district is seen as leaning Democratic in November given that it's a Biden+15 district.
What they're saying: In a statement to the Texas Tribune, Sanchez blamed his loss in part on having "little to no support" from national Democrats.
- In the closing days of the campaign, the House Democrat-aligned House Majority PAC ran Spanish-language ads against Flores tying her to the Jan. 6 attack.