Mayra Flores, a 35-year-old respiratory therapist, made history on Tuesday.
She won a special election in perhaps the most Hispanic Congressional district in the country running on an unabashedly conservative platform. Her Rio Grande Valley district last elected a Republican over 150 years ago.
She is the first Mexican-born U.S. congresswoman in the nation’s history. She immigrated legally with her parents to the U.S. at age six. Her parents were migrant workers and she worked in cotton fields before she was even a teenager. She became a health care technician and college graduate, married a Border Patrol agent, and settled down in the border town of McAllen, Texas.
About five years ago, she decided that her conservative values made her a Republican. She ran for Congress this year when the incumbent resigned and faced an uphill fight – Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton carried the district by over 20 points.
But in 2020, Donald Trump only lost the district by four points as Hispanics rebelled against Democratic policies, including opposing fossil fuel development, tighter border controls, and soft on crime policies.
The GOP needs more Hispanic stars just like her.