After a light round of conchas and empanadas in a modest home in McAllen, Tex., decorated in her campaign’s bright pink and yellow posters, congressional candidate Michelle Vallejo talked to a room mostly filled with educators about issues facing their community, like low wages and health-care access.
Just three miles away, the liberal Democrat’s challenger Monica De La Cruz took the stage at the Young Republicans of Hidalgo County convention. Like Vallejo, De La Cruz is also the descendant of Mexican immigrants. She, too, grew up in the Rio Grande Valley, along the U.S.-Mexico border. And she voted Democratic for most of her adult life.