Democrats go on the offensive in last-ditch effort to avoid loss of Texas House seat
Democrats are pouring money into a special election for a Texas congressional seat as they try to avoid a high-profile loss ahead of this year’s midterm elections.
House Majority PAC, the main political action committee of the House Democratic Caucus, has abandoned more than $100,000 to broadcast a TV advertising accusing the main Republican candidate in the race, Maya Flores, of supporting the January 6 riot at the United States Capitol. The investment is the first time National Democrats have committed significant funds to the race.
Voters in Texas’ 34th congressional district are due to go to the polls next Tuesday in a special election to choose a successor to former Rep. Filemon Vela (D-TX), who announcement his resignation in March.
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The Spanish-language ad claims that Flores represents “violence, terror and conspiracy theories” and attempts to cast her as responsible for police injuries and deaths on January 6.
Two Republicans and two Democrats are running in the special election. If no one receives more than 50% of the vote next week, the top two candidates will advance to the second round. However, due to their heavy investment in the race, many Republicans are optimistic that Flores can win outright and avoid a runoff.
The 34th District is based in the Rio Grande Valley in southern Texas, and the district’s population is predominantly Latino. President Joe Biden won the seat by 4 percentage points in 2020, and the district has been represented in Congress by a Democrat since its inception after the 2010 census.
Republicans hope to point to a victory in this special election as further proof of their earnings with Latino voters. The GOP intends to use inroads with Latinos to target previously unreachable seats in states such as Texas and Nevada in midterm elections.
The winner of the special election to replace Vela will only serve until January, and another contest will be held in November under redrawn lines.
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Due to the redistricting, the new 34th district heavily favors the Democrats. Therefore, even if Flores wins the special election, she will be the underdog to win the seat for a full term.
Rep. Vicente Gonzalez is the Democratic nominee for the redesigned district in November. González decided to run for the seat after Republican state lawmakers made its former seat, the 15th District, more Republican in the redistricting.