Former U.S. Rep. Mayra Flores has announced she is running against Democrat Vicente Gonzalez to retake her previously held South Texas seat.

Flores made the announcement on Fox News, after revealing the National Republican Congressional Committee had been recruiting her to run. In her appearance, she highlighted campaign issues like border security and child trafficking.

“We want to empower our Border Patrol agents, strengthen our border security—of course, our economy as well—and protect the children … that are being trafficked in this country right now,” Flores told Fox News.

She then tweeted a campaign video, stating, “We made history last year, but there’s still work to be done here in South Texas.”

Flores is running in Texas’ 34th Congressional District, a predominately Hispanic community representing cities like Brownsville and McAllen.

In 2022, a special election was held to fill the seat vacated by U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela, who resigned to work for a lobbying firm.

Flores won the special election—a major breakthrough for the historically Democrat district—making her the first Mexican-born congresswoman to be elected into office.

Within five months of her term, a general election took place, where Democrat Vicente Gonzalez (D–McAllen) unseated her by slim margins. Now, Flores faces the newly redrawn district lines once again, which were the cause of Gonzalez’s 9 percentage point win over her in the general election.

Texas’ 34th Congressional District has since been considered a battleground for Republicans whose goal is to “flip the district red.”

Valerie Muñoz

Valerie Muñoz is a native South Texan and student at Texas A&M University, where she studies journalism. She is passionate about delivering clear and comprehensive news to Texans.