Last weekend, Republicans won two Mayoral races in counties that voted for Secretary Hillary Clinton (D) and President Joe Biden (D) in the 2016 and 2020 Presidential elections. In response to the GOP scoring two wins considered to be upsets, there’s acceptance of the challenge, but there’s no worry. Gilberto Hinojosa (D), a former Cameron County judge and the current chairman of the Texas Democratic Party, said that he’s open to the challenge, but he’s not “trembling in my boots.”
At the end of last week, Associated Republicans of Texas, a GOP political group, announced that it would be targeting six Democratic state House seats located in South Texas. This comes after Javier Villalobos (R) defeated Veronica Vela Whitacre by 206 points in a runoff election to become the next Mayor of McAllen, Texas. Villalobos is the first registered Republican to serve as Mayor of the city this century. Moreover, Mattie Parker (R) defeated Deborah Peoples (D) to become Mayor of Fort Worth.
With both victories, the GOP feels confident that it can gain more ground heading into the 2024 presidential election. Aaron De Leon, a political director for Associated Republicans of Texas, commented that “there’s something going on down there.” De Leon added that the GOP “see a great opportunity in South Texas and we want to take the offensive and take it to the Democrats in what has historically been their territory.”
However, Texas Democrats feel confident that the GOP will not be expanding their control.
Hinojosa expressed that the GOP is “entitled to do everything they want to do” when it comes to political races, “but I’m not trembling in my boots.”
“All it does is allow these state representatives who normally don’t have contested elections to invest enormous amounts of resources in defending their seats and that’ll help us increase voter turnout for our nominees running for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and land commissioner.”