Mayra Flores' lightning-fast rise to political fame launched only three days ago, when she became the first Mexican-born woman to be voted into the House of Representatives.
Yet at the same time, Flores' story might have been 150-plus years in the making.
On Tuesday night, Flores won the special congressional election for Texas' 34th District, defeating her Democratic Party challenger, Dan Sanchez, to serve the remainder of the term of Democrat Filemon Vela, who resigned March 31.
Flores' victory apparently marked the first time since the 1860s that a Republican won that congressional district. (For context, Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson primarily served as U.S. presidents during that decade.)
And on Friday night, Flores briefly celebrated her victory on Newsmax, before focusing on the next major step of her career: The congressional general election for District 34 in November, covering the Rio Grande Valley.
"The lines don't change the value of [our] substance," Flores said on "Rob Schmitt Tonight," featuring guest host Carl Higbie. "We continue to be all about faith, family and hard work, and those values align with Mayra Flores."
In the interview, Flores acknowledged she grew up a pro-Democratic household.
At some point, however, Flores started aligning herself with conservative ideals and values; and in 2020, her father — previously a lifetime Democrat — switched over to his daughter's Republican Party.
As Flores tells it, the Democratic Party "walked away" from her father, adding that he says that "they're so far left now."
Flores added: "The [Democrats] walked away from the Hispanic community. I feel like they're the ones who abandoned us. ... They don't stand for the values in which we stand for, which is 'God, Family, Life and Hard Work.'"
Later in the interview, Higbie asked Flores if conditions at the U.S.-Mexico border played a role in the 34th District voting Republican.
"Absolutely! I don't know why the Democratic Party thinks their policies on immigration are going to help them," said Flores, who, according to People magazine, was born in Tamaulipas, Mexico, before coming to the U.S. with her family at age 6.
"We need to focus on legal immigration. ... How do we improve that process, so more good people can come here? We want more Mayra Floreses to come here, and experience this" American freedom.
In less than a week, Flores has gone from a virtual unknown to a potential star in the Republican Party. Of course, that run at extended fame might hinge on her success in the general election: She faces Rep. Vicente Gonzalez Jr. on Nov. 8.
"We take no one for granted. We don't feel entitled to that [November] election. We're going to work really, really hard to earn the respect of all the people of Texas' 34th District."
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