In South Texas, Hispanic Republicans Try to Cement the Party’s Gains

Conversations with voters and activists in Hidalgo County prompt that there’s not one reply however many: Women who staunchly oppose abortion voted for the first time; wives of Border Patrol brokers felt satisfied the Trump administration was firmly on their aspect; moms picked up on the enthusiasm for Republicans from buddies they knew by way of church or their kids’s faculty.

For many citizens in the area, there’s a profound sense of cynicism — a sense that issues is not going to change regardless of who’s cost. The border, in spite of everything, has been the website of a humanitarian disaster underneath each Democrats and Republicans. Nearly everybody right here is aware of each undocumented immigrants and Border Patrol brokers, sometimes even inside the identical household. And for a lot of right here, legislation enforcement stays considered one of the best paths to the center class, and Republicans have portrayed nationwide Democrats as hostile towards the police.

Both Republicans and Democrats are probably this yr to begin funneling far more cash into the area, the place enthusiasm for the G.O.P. in 2020 was not restricted to Mr. Trump. For the first time in latest historical past, a Republican got here shut to defeating the Democratic incumbent in Texas’ 15th Congressional District, which incorporates most of Hidalgo County and runs north of McAllen up to San Antonio.

In subsequent yr’s race for the seat, the Republican candidate, Monica De La Cruz-Hernandez, is once more difficult Representative Vicente Gonzalez, a Democrat — however they could be competing on completely different political terrain if the district’s “bacon strip” form is altered in redistricting later this yr.

At the native Lincoln Reagan Republican dinner in March, Mr. Abbott rallied assist for Ms. De La Cruz-Hernandez and inspired different girls like her to come into the G.O.P. fold, talking in glowing phrases about their political potential and saying he had “never been as impressed” with the management of a county get together.

“I’ve never been onstage with so many accomplished, articulate Latinas as I have been tonight with this group of ladies,” he instructed an enthusiastic crowd. “This is amazing. If I were the Democrats, I would be very afraid right now, because there is a storm coming, a storm that is going to win Hidalgo County. I wanted to be here in person, wanted to say thank you.”

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