Monica De La Cruz is a first-generation Texan, her grandmother having arrived from Mexico to escape political strife. Now she will become the first Republican to represent residents of the Rio Grande Valley in the U.S. House of Representatives.
With 74% of the vote counted, The Associated Press reported, De La Cruz was well on the way to defeating Democrat nominee Michelle Vallejo, 53.3% to 44.8%, in the 15th Congressional District.
If 2022 will be remembered for anything in politics, it will most likely go down in history books as the year of the Republican Latina.
Earlier this year Mayra Flores made national headlines when she won a special election in Texas’s 34th district to fill the unexpired term of U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela, making her the first Mexican born Latina to serve in U.S. Congress. The win also made her only the second Republican in history to represent the Rio Grande Valley.
Two other Latina Texan Republicans, Cassy Garcia in Laredo and Monica De La Cruz in McAllen are also running in congressional races in communities near the Mexican border. The combined power of Flores, Garcia and De La Cruz have prompted conservatives to call them the “triple threat.”
Incumbent Democrat U.S. Representative Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX-15) has elected to run for reelection in TX-34, leaving Texas’ Fifteenth Congressional district an open seat.
Redistricting changed the district lines and made an already competitive TX-15 an even more appetizing target for Republicans, who already have a nominee while the Democrats are scheduled to have a run-off in late May.