Sign up for The Brief. It is a daily newsletter that keeps readers informed of the most important news from Texas.

The first constituency change map released this week raises new questions about the Texas Republican Party’s hopes of winning seats in South Texas.

After President Joe Biden underperformed last year, state and state Republicans tasked with the 2022 election cycle decided to show they could mostly invade Hispanic areas. Governor Greg Abbott, who spoke in Austin on Thursday, predicted “a very red future for the Texas border community.”


The proposed map contains good news for Republicans targeting South Texas, but it has also brought a lot of uncertainty.

Most important of these is to continue bidding for re-election in District 15, which is currently represented by US Congressman Vicente Gonzalez de D-McAllen, or move to adjacent District 34. I’m retired. According to the proposed parliamentary map, the 15th arrondissement of Gonzales will be more competitive for Republicans and the open 34th arrondissement will be safer for Democrats.

Gonzales told the Texas Tribune this week that all options are being considered for his political future. And in a Friday statement first reported by Politico, Gonzales said he would consider implementation “very seriously” in the new District 34 if it were the final boundaries. Gonzales will be assisted by Vera, who first spoke to Politico and then confirmed to Tribune.


All maps released this week are the first draft and are subject to change before they arrive at Abbott’s office or after facing an almost guaranteed barrage of legal issues. But they are already speculating among political insiders.

When Gonzales changes his race, he will meet a Democratic primary in District 34, which already includes at least one prominent candidate for Rochelle Garza, a former associate state staff attorney in Texas. In addition to Gonzales, another potential Democratic candidate for District 34 is Alex Dominguez, MP for Brownsville.

According to spokesperson Logan Davidson, Dominguez “is seriously considering” the candidacy of senior officials, especially from the 34th arrondissement. Davidson said Dominges is currently focusing on constituency changes when it comes to seats on the state Capitol, but has already hired a team of consultants to help determine what to do next. Noted.


Gonzales has been under the watchful eye of a new national Republican Party since he unexpectedly ran last year, scoring just 3 percentage points for reelection, while Biden won the district below. Gonzales’ 2020 Republican challenger Monica de la Cruz-Hernandez is running again with the help of the leading Republican member of the House of Representatives, California Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

District 15 is now one of three South Texas districts announced by the National Republican Parliamentary Commission in February to cover this cycle. The other two were Districts 34 and 28, currently held by US Congressman Henry Cuellar de D-Laredo.

Biden won less than four points in each of those neighborhoods, but the map suggests that only the 15th arrondissement is more competitive for Republicans, at least based on the margins of the last presidential election. The new District 15 will go from Biden’s 2 points to Trump’s 3 points. Meanwhile, the 34th Open District will move from a district where Biden scored 4 points to one where he played with a margin. Almost four times that. And Quera’s 28th arrondissement will move from the neighborhood where Biden also had a 4-point margin to the neighborhood where he had a 7-point margin.


Asked Friday whether the NRCC still considers the three districts to be competitive, a spokesperson did not say exactly.

“All Democrats are vulnerable to a full and comprehensive record of incompetence which has caused border crises, increased commodity costs and reduced community security,” spokesman Torun Sinclair said in a statement. . Noted.

Myra Flores, the most famous Republican candidate for Vera’s seat, has no plans to change her race, but is not happy with the bluer neighborhoods on offer. She traveled to Austin on Thursday to testify against the map proposal and told Republicans she “sent a message that she doesn’t care much about conservative Hispanics in South Texas.”

“We’ve worked so hard in District 34 that we don’t know why the Republican Commission is pulling us out,” Flores told the Senate District Change Commission. She added that she did not want candidates from either party to be given seats and called on lawmakers to revise the proposed district.


Houston Republican President Joan Huffman praised Flores’ heartfelt testimony, but did not indicate whether a review would take place.

Race for state legislature

The proposed map also brought a new plot to the contest of the South Texas state legislature. Some Republicans have openly speculated that the change of constituency could force Democratic lawmakers in southern Texas states to change parties.[s] You will see a lot of Conservative Democratic announcements when changing constituencies. “

There was no immediate sign of this after the first card released this week.

The Senate map features a less bluish 27th district for moderate Democrats backed by Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr. of Brownsville, and Deputy Governor Dan Patrick, the strong Senate Speaker. I am. However, Lucio, who survived a major and brutal challenge from the left last year, shows no sign of withdrawing from the fight for another term in his current party.


Lucio announced in June that he would seek re-election in the current constituency, spokesman Ruben Ober confirmed that Friday was still scheduled, and Lucio ran for the Democratic primary in the 27th Senate constituency of the year next. ..

The Biden crisis in South Texas has also spilled over into the state Capitol District, providing Republicans in Austin with yet another opportunity for recovery. A Republican member from Texas, a well-funded group working with the House Republican leadership, announced in June that it would cover six districts in South Texas.

However, according to the map proposal released Thursday, only one of those districts has moved significantly in the direction of the Republican Party. The district, represented by D-Rio Grande City State Assembly member Ryan Gillen, has gone from a district Trump already had 13 points to a routed 25-point district, experiencing an impressive swing in favor of the Republican Party. Probably.


Gillen’s office did not respond to requests for comment on his 2022 plan.

The D-Eagle Pass, Member of Parliament for Edimo Lares Jr., one of the targeted districts in South Texas, is actually blue under the proposed map, but remains competitive. It goes from the neighborhood where Trump won 8 points to the neighborhood where Biden would have had 1 point.

According to Morales’s office, Morales will run for re-election in his current constituency regardless of the constituency change.

“ART is confident in its strategy and efforts to win seats in 2022,” Aaron de Leon, group vice president, said in a statement.

New seats are available in South Texas after State Lawmaker Eddie Lucio III, the son of the state legislator, announced Friday morning that he would not be running again. But this siege looks like a climb for Republicans. Biden takes it to 15 points and the proposed map gives the neighborhood the same margin as Biden.


“I wanted to focus on family, friends and business and start the next chapter in my life,” Eddie Lucio III said in a statement Friday morning. His spokesman, Sergio Cavazos, later revealed that retired state officials would not participate in any political music chairs in South Texas, saying: “I will run for other elected positions during of this cycle. There is no such thing. “

Abbey Livingston contributed to the report.

Disclosure: Politico financially supports Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, non-partisan news agency partially funded by donations from members, foundations, and corporate sponsors. Financial support does not play a role in platform journalism. Find a full list of them here.

South Texas was already a political battleground. New cards can change your game plan.

South Texas was already a political battleground. New cards can change your game plan.