Trump-backed Latina candidate wins US seat in Texas

McAllen, United States AFP

A Latina Republican candidate backed by former president Donald Trump won her congressional race Tuesday, US media projected, wresting a Texas district on the border with Mexico from Democratic control.

Monica De La Cruz, a supporter of some the former president’s controversial immigration policies, said in a victory speech that she was “incredibly honored, humbled, and blessed by tonight’s win.”

De La Cruz defeated Democratic challenger Michelle Vallejo in the race for the state’s 15th District, CNN and NBC projected.

Democrats in several US states have for years benefited from the traditional support of Latino voters, which in the 1990s played a key role in transforming California into a solidly blue state.

But in south Texas, where Hispanics or Latinos outnumbered non-Latino or Hispanic whites for the first time this year, the Democrats’ lead has gradually shrunk.

De La Cruz is a vocal supporter of Trump’s policy that any irregular migrant arriving at the border should remain in Mexico while their status is determined by authorities.

“We are the party that rejects the false choice between legal immigration and strong border security,” she said. “We believe in both.”

But De La Cruz has said she would end the construction of a controversial wall between the United States and Mexico, initiated by Trump.

“We believe that every child, regardless of race, gender or disability, is a gift from God Almighty,” said De La Cruz, who opposes abortion.

“We are the party that wants Hispanics to prosper and not depend on the government,” she said.

© Agence France-Presse