A G.O.P. Earthquake in South Texas: Republicans Flip 85% Hispanic District

Republicans flipped an 85% Hispanic district in South Texas and a Congressman who impeached Trump lost his primary in Tuesday’s primary elections.


Republicans flipped an 85% Hispanic district in South Texas and a Congressman who impeached Trump lost his primary in Tuesday’s primary elections.

  • Republican Mayra Flores defeated Democrat Dan Sanchez by an 8-point margin to flip Texas’ 34th District in the special election to replace Democratic Rep. Filemon Vela in a district Barack Obama carried by 20-point margins but Joe Biden only carried by 4 points.
  • Flores will be Texas’ first Latina Republican congresswoman, the first Mexican-born Congresswoman, and the first Republican to represent the Rio Grande Valley since Reconstruction.
  • G.O.P. Rep. Tom Rice lost renomination by a resounding 51%-25% margin in the primary for South Carolina’s 7th District in the Myrtle Beach area.
  • Former President Donald Trump endorsed Rice’s opponent, state Rep. Russell Fry, out of revenge after Rice voted to impeach Trump for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
  • South Carolina Rep. Nancy Mace defeated her Trump-backed primary challenger Katie Arrington 53%-45% for the 1st District including Charleston and Hilton Head. Trump endorsed Arrington after Mace blasted him for his role in the Capitol riot. Mace did not vote to impeach.
  • Call Maine the Comeback State after Tuesday’s primaries. Former Gov. Paul LePage won the G.O.P. nod and will face his successor Democratic Gov. Janet Mills in November.
  • In Maine’s northern 2nd District, former G.O.P. Rep. Bruce Poliquin won his primary for the right to face the man who beat him in 2018, Democratic Rep. Jared Golden.
  • Former Nevada attorney general Adam Laxalt turned back a late surge from veteran Sam Brown, winning the G.O.P. nod to face vulnerable Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto in a race that could determine control of the Senate.
  • Clark County (Las Vegas) Sheriff Joe Lombardo won a decisive victory in the Republican primary to challenge Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak ahead of a “tough race” in November.
  • Three House Democrats in Las Vegas sit in toss-up districts. The G.O.P. nominated Mark Robertson to face Rep. Dina Titus (NV-01), and attorney April Becker to challenge Rep. Susie Lee (NV-03), while the G.O.P. race to face Rep. Steven Horsford remains too close to call.


reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • The New York Times wrote Tuesday’s primaries set the stage for “marquee” races in Nevada and Maine that could determine control of Congress next year.
  • POLITICO observed “impeachment is a killer.” Republicans who break with Trump at times can still win. Voting to impeach, however, is an unforgivable sin.
  • CNN argued that “South Carolina voters delivered the vengeance that Donald Trump had sought” by denying Rep. Tom Rice renomination.



  • FOX News reported Elon Musk voted for Mayra Flores in the special election, the “first time ever” for a Republican candidate. Musk also implied he was leaning towards supporting Gov. Ron DeSantis in the 2024 presidential race.
  • The Washington Examiner called the Texas special election a “gauge of Republicans’ growing popularity in traditionally Democratic South Texas” and noted Republicans “went all-in” on the race while Democrats only spent money at the last minute.
  • National Review called Tuesday’s primaries – where one Trump target (Rice) lost and another (Mace) won –  “a split night for Trump” that “don’t give much clarity about Trump’s sway on the right.”


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© Dominic Moore, 2022