The New York Times on Wednesday published an article titled, "The Rise of the Far-Right Latina," painting Rep. Mayra Flores’s (R., Texas) historic victory in what was once a solidly Democratic district as part of a trend of Hispanic women adopting fringe ideologies.
Jennifer Medina, writing for the Times, argued that Flores’s affinity for Donald Trump, religiosity, support for strong borders, and traditional values place her in the "far-right" column. Medina compared Flores to two other Republican Latinas running in South Texas, Cassy Garcia and Monica De La Cruz, and claimed that they are in the same "far-right" mold as Flores due to their similar ideological bent and collaboration.
South Texas, traditionally a cornerstone of Democratic support in the state, has shifted substantially to the right in recent elections. Flores last month won in a special election for Texas's 34th Congressional District, a seat Democrats won by 14 points in 2020. Some analysts have argued the Democratic Party being out of step with Texas Hispanics on issues such as abortion and border security has caused the pivot toward Republicans in the region.
"We went down the list of all my beliefs," Starr County Republican Party chairwoman Claudia Alcazar told Politico in describing her decision to leave the Democratic Party. "And at the end I was like, ‘Oh my God, I am a Republican. I just didn’t know it.’"
The Times article provided quotes from Democratic strategists and lawmakers claiming that Flores’s victory was dumb luck for Republicans and that it "does not mean she represents mainstream Hispanic voters."