After losing to U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-McAllen), in Texas’ 34th district, the National Republican Congressional Committee is trying to get former U.S. Rep. Mayra Flores to run for her old seat in the 2024 election.
While Flores has not yet announced she is running, the NRCC has named this a target for the 2024 election.
Flores said in a statement she is “praying about [a 2024 campaign] with my family, friends, and supporters, and will make a decision soon.”
In late May, the NRCC commissioned a poll by, 1892, a national political consulting firm, which found that Flores tied with Gonzalez. The polling memo, which was first reported by the Texas Tribune said that Flores, “has already proven she can win, and new polling shows she remains popular.”
“Conservatives in South Texas achieved historic gains in the 2022 election cycle, but there is still more work to do,” Flores told the Texas Tribune. “These poll results are very encouraging, and I deeply appreciate the NRCC’s belief in our movement.”
On the other hand, Democrats brushed off Flores chances to flip seats in 2024.
“While the NRCC tries to convince Flores to run with dubious polling, the 2022 results speak for themselves,” tweeted CJ Warnke, a spokesperson for House Majority PAC, adding that the 34th District “rejected [Flores’] extremism.”
In the June 2022 special election, Flores flipped the seat, which was a step forward for the GOP as they were trying to fix in on the predominantly Hispanic South Texas.
However, redistricting made the race more favorable to Democrats during the election in November, where Gonzalez eventually won the race.
While Flores lost the race by 9 points, she had cut Donald Trump’s shortfall in the redrawn district by half, making her uniquely capable according to the NRCC to make it through a competitive general election.
According to the poll, Flores is tied with Gonzalez 42% to 42%, with 16% of the voters still undivided in this hypothetical election. With the independents, Flores is leading by 50%, with Gonzalez behind with 31%.
While the polling memo showed that Flores has an image favorability of 43%, the poll did not contain any information on Gonzalez’s image.
After her loss on election night in November, Flores took to Twitter to say that the GOP promised, “RED WAVE did not happen.”
The GOP learned during the last election cycle that polling in South Texas can be difficult to gauge. The national GOP operatives were optimistic about filling as many as three seats during the final weeks but only managed to get one in South Texas.
The loss of Flores’ seat was shocking for the Republican party especially because of her rising-star status after winning a special election only a few months earlier.
While Flores teased running for an election again after her loss, she has been silent about her plans ever since. She has said that she enjoys spending more time with her family and has taken on more jobs, which include working at the Austin-based conservative think tank, Texas Public Policy Foundation.
The 2024 primary race for the Republican party in the 34th District has a few folks running for the seat already while some have yet to run for it.
The race currently includes Mauro Garza, a self-funding businessman who came in second during the 2022 primary for the 15th District. He recently announced an endorsement from Joe Arpaio, the former Arizona sheriff and immigration hardliner. Garza has been campaigning in the district by running TV ads.
A Harlingen pastor, Luis Cabrera, said that he will run if Flores does not. He has previously helped with Flores’ 2022 campaigns and remains supportive of her.
The former secretary of state and Cameron County judge, Carlos Cascos, is considering joining the race as well. He said Wednesday that he will decide after Labor Day, according to the Texas Tribune.
The poll was conducted from May 24-26. The error of margin was plus-or-minus 4.67 percentage points. The consulting firm used a combination of live calls and text messages to collect data by interviewing 439 likely voters in the 34th District.