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Latinos: The Next Swing Voters?

Mayra Flores became the first Republican to represent her south Texas congressional district in more than 150 years after winning a special election by over 8 points in June. Flores, the first Mexican-born woman elected to Congress, ran as a Donald Trump-supporting hardline conservative, highlighting her strong opinions on law enforcement and her husband’s profession as a US Border Patrol agent.

She’ll be running against Democrat Vicente Gonzalez in Texas’ redesigned (and now bluer) 34th District in November, after Gonzalez—who has represented the adjacent 15th District since 2017—decided to run in a new jurisdiction following the 2020 redistricting round. According to the Cook Political Report, the race is a toss-up.

A Flores victory in November would be “a definite hint that the gains Republicans gained among Latino voters in 2020 are more lasting and less Trump-specific than Democrats had anticipated,” Inside Elections’ Jacob Rubashkin said.

Though political commentators sometimes put them together, Latino voters in the United States are far from homogeneous, ranging in socioeconomic class, geographic region, and political opinion.