Republican Mayra Flores defeated the leading Democratic candidate for an open congressional seat in a historically blue region of South Texas in a Tuesday special election.

Flores, who will be the first Mexican-born congresswoman, garnered about 51% of the vote to top Dan Sanchez, who received 43% of the vote with all precincts reporting.

The seat had been vacated in March by former Democratic Rep. Filemon Vela.

Shortly after 9:30 p.m., Flores declared victory at her election party in San Benito, the Texas Tribune reported.

“For over 100 years, we have been taken for granted,” she told her supporters, according to the report. “I will show you what real representation looks like. I will represent all people.”

Sanchez conceded Tuesday night, and blamed Democrats for their lack of support.

Texas Democrat Dan Sanchez walking along a polling site in Brownsville, Texas.
Texas Democrat Dan Sanchez pointed to a lack of support from the Democratic party as a reason for his defeat.

“Based on the results, we came up short tonight …” he said in a statement to the Tribune.

“Too many factors were against us, including little to no support from the National Democratic Party and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.”

Another election for the seat will be held in November.

Flores, backed by Texas Gov. Greg Abbot and Senator Ted Cruz., spent over $1 million on commercials for the election while the Democrats decided it wasn’t worth investing in a race that would be up for grabs again in the fall, the paper reported.

President Joe Biden had won the Texas 34th district by just 4 points in the 2020 election.

Signs for Republican congressional candidate Mayra Flores decorate the lawn outside a polling location Tuesday, June 14, 2022, for the Special Election for Congressional District 34 in Harlingen, Texas.
After Tuesday’s special election, Mayra Flores will become the first Mexican-born congresswoman.


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