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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mayra Flores
Mayra Flores.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 34th district
In office
June 21, 2022 – January 3, 2023
Preceded byFilemon Vela Jr.
Succeeded byVicente Gonzalez
Personal details
Born
Mayra Nohemi Flores

(1986-01-01) January 1, 1986 (age 37)
Burgos, Tamaulipas, Mexico
Political partyRepublican
SpouseJohn Vallejo
Children4
EducationSouth Texas College (BAS)

Mayra Nohemi Flores (born January 1, 1986) is an American politician who represented Texas's 34th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 2022 to 2023. A member of the Republican Party, she is the first female Mexican-born member of the House.

Flores was born in Burgos, Tamaulipas, Mexico; her family moved to the United States when she was six years old before she gained citizenship at age 14. She graduated from San Benito High School and South Texas College. Before her congressional campaign, she worked as a respiratory therapist and as chair of Hispanic outreach for the Hidalgo County Republican Party. In June 2022, a special election in Texas's 34th congressional district was held after Democratic Representative Filemon Vela Jr. resigned. Flores won the election, defeating three other candidates.

Flores lost her campaign for a full term in the November 2022 midterm elections to Democrat Vicente Gonzalez in the district that was redrawn that year.[1]

Early life and education

Mayra Nohemi Flores was born on January 1, 1986, in Burgos, Tamaulipas, Mexico, to migrant farmworkers. Her family moved to the U.S. when she was six years old and she gained citizenship at 14. She graduated from San Benito High School in 2004.[2][3] Her family often moved yearly throughout Texas during her childhood because of her and her parents' work picking cotton, which began in Memphis, Texas, when she was 13.[4][5] She graduated from South Texas College in 2019.[4]

Early political career

Flores's parents supported the Democratic Party, but she was drawn to the Republican Party due to her anti-abortion views.[4] She has said that she was previously a Democrat, but left the party shortly after voting for Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election.[6][7]

Before her congressional campaigns and shortly after graduating from college, Flores worked in the Hidalgo County Republican Party as chair of Hispanic outreach.[8][4] In 2022, she organized pro-Trump caravans through the Rio Grande Valley.[9] Before her election to Congress, Flores used hashtags associated with the QAnon conspiracy theory on an Instagram post, though she has denied ever being a supporter of QAnon.[3] In tweets that she later deleted, Flores also promoted the false claim that the 2021 United States Capitol attack was "set up" by antifa members among the crowd during the riot.[9][10]

U.S. House of Representatives

Elections

2022 special

Flores declared her candidacy for the United States House of Representatives in Texas's 34th congressional district after incumbent Democratic representative Filemon Vela Jr. announced in March 2021 that he would not seek reelection in 2022.[11][12] She ran her campaign appealing to Hispanic and Latino Americans and their disillusionment with the Democratic Party, which they have historically supported in South Texas.[13] Following the establishment of new congressional districts as a part of the 2020 redistricting cycle, incumbent Democrat Vicente Gonzalez of the 15th district announced his candidacy for the new 34th district.[14] On March 1, 2022, Flores and Gonzalez won their respective partisan primaries and faced each other in the general election on November 8, 2022.[15]

In March 2022, Vela announced his early resignation from Congress.[16] Shortly after his announcement, Flores declared her candidacy in the special election on June 14, 2022, to fill the vacancy.[17] Gonzalez did not run in the special election.[18] Flores's campaign focused on her family, the economy, border security, and her upbringing as the daughter of immigrants.[19] During the special election, Flores reported $752,000 in contributions, while Democrat Dan Sanchez of Harlingen reported $46,000.[20] Flores defeated Sanchez with 50.91% of the vote to Sanchez's 43.37%, avoiding a runoff.[20] She is the first Mexican-born woman elected to serve in Congress.[3][20][21][22]

2022 general

In her general election campaign against Democrat Vincente Gonzalez, Flores has been targeted with racist and sexist comments; a blogger paid by the Gonzalez campaign called her "Miss Frijoles", "Miss Enchiladas", and a "cotton-pickin' liar".[23] Gonzalez and district Democrats condemned these comments. Gonzalez has also called Flores "unqualified" and has claimed she cannot "think or speak for herself", criticisms that have been called sexist.[24][25] In the November 8 general election, Gonzalez defeated Flores to become the next Representative for the 34th District.[1]

Tenure

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (left) swears in Flores (right), as her husband (center) looks on
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (left) swears in Flores (right), as her husband (center) looks on

Flores was sworn in by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on June 21, 2022.[26] Three days later, Flores spoke out about the Supreme Court opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization which overturned Roe v. Wade, calling the decision a "big win" and a "dream come true".[27]

In June 2022, Flores voted against the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.[28]

In July 2022, The New York Times published an article about Flores's election, calling her a "far-right Latina".[9] Flores responded to the article, saying The New York Times knew "nothing about me or our culture" and that "I have received only hate from the liberal media".[29][30] The article was also criticized by Ted Cruz and Laura Ingraham, among others.[31][32]

On July 19, 2022, Flores voted against the Respect for Marriage Act.[33]

Political positions

Flores supports religious freedom, school choice, and abortion bans.[9] She opposes same-sex marriage.[33] She backed former President Trump publicly and raised unfounded doubts about the results of the 2020 election.[34]

Committee assignments

Flores' committee assignments included:[35]

Personal life

Flores has worked as a respiratory therapist.[4] She is married to John Vallejo, a U.S. Border Patrol agent, with whom she has four children.[3]

Electoral history

2022 Texas's 34th congressional district special election results[36]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mayra Flores 14,799 50.91
Democratic Dan Sanchez 12,606 43.37
Democratic Rene Coronado 1,210 4.16
Republican Juana Cantu-Cabrera 454 1.56
Total votes 29,069 100.00
Registered electors 395,025
Republican gain from Democratic
2022 Texas's 34th congressional district general election results
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Vicente Gonzalez 70,759 52.7
Republican Mayra Flores (incumbent) 59,404 44.3
Independent Chris Royal 4,076 3.0
Total votes 134,239 100
Democratic gain from Republican

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Gamboa, Suzanne (November 8, 2022). "Democratic Rep. Vicente Gonzalez defeats GOP candidate Mayra Flores in TX". NBC News. Retrieved November 9, 2022.
  2. ^ "FLORES, Mayra". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Archived from the original on June 22, 2022. Retrieved June 22, 2022.
  3. ^ a b c d Harris, Cayla; Bureau, Austin (April 11, 2022) [April 7, 2022]. "Texas Republican Mayra Flores gets a boost in quest to be first U.S. congresswoman born in Mexico". San Antonio Express-News. Archived from the original on June 17, 2022. Retrieved May 30, 2022.
  4. ^ a b c d e Medina, Jennifer (March 1, 2022) [February 28, 2022]. "How Immigration Politics Drives Some Hispanic Voters to the G.O.P. in Texas". The New York Times. Archived from the original on May 31, 2022. Retrieved May 30, 2022.
  5. ^ Harris, Cayla. What to know about Texas Republican Mayra Flores, the first congresswoman-elect born in Mexico Archived June 17, 2022, at the Wayback Machine, San Antonio Express-News, June 15, 2022.
  6. ^ Hennessy-Fiske, Molly (November 12, 2020). "'We've only started': How Latino support for Trump grew in Texas borderlands". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on March 1, 2022.
  7. ^ Reston, Maeve; Chavez, Nicole (February 28, 2020). "Democrats look to win back Latino voters after Trump's inroads in South Texas". CNN. Archived from the original on April 9, 2022.
  8. ^ Soellner, Mica (May 25, 2022). "Too many lawyers: GOP lawmaker spearheads PAC to elect blue-collar Americans to Congress". The Washington Times. Archived from the original on June 17, 2022. Retrieved May 30, 2022.
  9. ^ a b c d Medina, Jennifer (July 6, 2022). "The Rise of the Far-Right Latina". The New York Times. Retrieved July 6, 2022.
  10. ^ Kaczynski, Andrew (June 23, 2022). "Newly elected GOP congresswoman spread Capitol riot conspiracies and QAnon hashtags in now-deleted tweets". CNN. Archived from the original on June 23, 2022. Retrieved June 23, 2022.
  11. ^ Nichols, Hans (March 22, 2021). "Rep. Filemon Vela to retire from House ahead of Texas redistricting". Axios. Archived from the original on April 11, 2022. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  12. ^ "South Texas emerges as political hotbed after Democrats underperformed there in 2020". The Texas Tribune. March 26, 2021. Archived from the original on April 11, 2021. Retrieved April 6, 2021.
  13. ^ "Latinas Are Pushing a Political Revolution in South Texas—to the Right". Texas Monthly. Archived from the original on May 20, 2022. Retrieved May 31, 2022.
  14. ^ Svitek, Patrick (October 26, 2021). "U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez will run for a different House seat in 2022 after redistricting made his more competitive". The Texas Tribune. Archived from the original on October 26, 2021. Retrieved October 26, 2021.
  15. ^ "Unofficial election results: Vicente Gonzalez, Mayra Flores win nominations in District 34 race". KRGV-TV. March 1, 2022. Archived from the original on June 17, 2022. Retrieved May 30, 2022.
  16. ^ Livingston, Abby (March 24, 2022). "U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela will resign early from Congress". The Texas Tribune. Archived from the original on March 24, 2022. Retrieved March 24, 2022.
  17. ^ Svitek, Patrick (March 24, 2022). "U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela's resignation announcement sparks a sudden special-election scramble in hotly contested South Texas". The Texas Tribune. Archived from the original on May 25, 2022. Retrieved May 30, 2022.
  18. ^ "Texas election is GOP's chance to prove how midterm winds are blowing". Rollcall.com. April 11, 2022. Archived from the original on June 13, 2022. Retrieved June 15, 2022.
  19. ^ Svitek, Patrick (June 16, 2022). "How Mayra Flores flipped a Rio Grande Valley congressional seat and gave Republicans hope for a new era in South Texas". Texas Tribune. Archived from the original on June 16, 2022. Retrieved June 16, 2022.
  20. ^ a b c Svitek, Patrick. Republicans flip U.S. House seat in South Texas, historically a Democratic stronghold Archived June 15, 2022, at the Wayback Machine, Texas Tribune, June 14, 2022.
  21. ^ "Mayra Flores becomes the first Mexican-born woman sworn in to Congress". CNN. June 22, 2022. Archived from the original on June 30, 2022. Retrieved July 1, 2022.
  22. ^ "Texas lawmaker first Mexican-born woman to join Congress". KKTV. Archived from the original on June 24, 2022. Retrieved July 1, 2022.
  23. ^ "Blogger with ties to Vicente Gonzalez lobs racist attack at his congressional opponent Mayra Flores". The Texas Tribune. July 19, 2022.
  24. ^ Caputo, Marc (July 19, 2022). "'Miss Frijoles' attack roils Latino-heavy congressional race in Texas". NBC News. Retrieved July 19, 2022.
  25. ^ Morris, Kyle (October 15, 2022). "Dem candidate running in contentious House race says his female opponent can't 'think' or 'speak' for herself". Fox News. Retrieved October 25, 2022.
  26. ^ Gillman, Todd J. (June 21, 2022). "South Texas Republican Mayra Flores sworn in as newest member of Congress". Dallas News. Archived from the original on June 21, 2022. Retrieved June 21, 2022.
  27. ^ "New Texas Rep. Mayra Flores on Roe v. Wade reversal: 'We have to start valuing life'". Fox News. June 24, 2022. Archived from the original on June 26, 2022. Retrieved June 26, 2022.
  28. ^ Taylor, Steve (June 26, 2022). "Flores is sole border Rep. to vote against Cornyn's gun safety legislation". Rio Grande Guardian.
  29. ^ Parks, Kristine (July 6, 2022). "Mayra Flores fires back after New York Times calls her 'far-right Latina': Paper knows 'nothing about me'". Fox News. Retrieved July 20, 2022.
  30. ^ Glebova, Diana (July 6, 2022). "GOP Congresswoman Mayra Flores Responds to 'Far-Right Latina' Attack in New York Times". National Review. Retrieved July 20, 2022.
  31. ^ Bedard, Paul (July 6, 2022). "The New York Times label of Mayra Flores as 'far-right Latina' draws GOP fire". Washington Examiner. Retrieved July 20, 2022.
  32. ^ What the Hispanic community is worried about: Rep Mayra Flores. Fox News. June 7, 2022.
  33. ^ a b Moreno, Gaby (July 20, 2022). "Rep. Mayra Flores votes against bill protecting gay marriage". Valley central.
  34. ^ "The RED WAVE did not happen: Texas Republican Mayra Flores projected to lose House seat". CBS News. November 9, 2022. Retrieved November 23, 2022.
  35. ^ "Committees and Caucuses | Congresswoman Mayra Flores". flores.house.gov. Retrieved August 17, 2022.
  36. ^ "SPECIAL ELECTION CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 34 - UNOFFICIAL RESULTS". Secretary of State of Texas. June 14, 2022. Retrieved June 16, 2022.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 34th congressional district

2022–2023
Succeeded by
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded byas Former US Representative Order of precedence of the United States
as Former US Representative
Succeeded byas Former US Representative
This page was last edited on 22 January 2023, at 00:34
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