Congratulations to Mayra Flores, who became the first Mexican-American-born congresswoman and the first Republican elected in the 34th Texas Congressional District in over 100 years.
Flores won in an 85% Hispanic district where Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton had won by over 20 percentage points in 2016 and 2020, respectively.
As she told supporters: “For over 100 years, we have been taken for granted.”
Flores’ victory is not the first time a Hispanic Republican has defeated a Democrat in Texas.
In June of last year, Republican Javier Villalobos was victorious over a Democrat to become Mayor of McAllen, Texas, an 85% Hispanic town in a 92% Hispanic county. In 2016, Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump by 40 points in the south Texas town.
These elections should be a gigantic political wake-up call for Black American voters.
The power and influence of Blacks as a relevant voting block is fast slipping away.
Hispanics are picking up the political slack.
Hispanics are the nation’s largest-growing ethnic voter group.
As the Flores election illustrates — they are not in the hip pocket of the Democratic Party.
A recent Quinnipiac University survey found that just 26% of Hispanics approve of Biden’s performance, while 60% disapprove.
In stark contrast, although Black support for Biden has decreased, it remains at 70% — the highest among most demographics, according to a Washington Post-Ipsos poll.
Unfortunately, Blacks — unlike Hispanics — remain in the hip pocket of the Democratic Party.
I wrote in this space nearly a decade ago that ” . . . the power of blacks as a relevant voting block at the national level could be lost for years. The focus instead will be on Hispanic . . . ”
As to the political implications, I explained, “Hispanics, Asians, and women do not put all their political eggs in the Democratic Party basket as blacks do. Therefore, they — like independents — are sought after by both parties.”
Like Hispanics in Texas, Black voters should show the Democratic Party that they cannot and should not be taken for granted.
An obvious way is to support Black Republican officials such as Congressmen Burgess Owens seeking reelection in Utah’s 4th Congressional District and Byron Donalds looking to retain his seat in Florida’s 19th Congressional District.
They must also be strong supporters of Black statewide office holders such as Virginia Lt. Gov. Winsome Earle-Sears; Kristina Karama, who is running for Attorney General of Michigan; and Herschel Walker, who is running for the U.S. Senate in Georgia.
If you think the Texas elections sent tremors through the Democratic Party establishment, there would be an earthquake if Blacks followed those examples and voted for Black Republican candidates.
Black voters are not the only ones who must step up to the plate.
Black Republican candidates have to swing their political bats as well.
Unlike many white Republican colleagues, they must go to Black voters and Black-owned and programmed media and ask for their support based on issues impacting their communities — not Party: crime, inflation, illegal immigration, and the need for parental choice in schools.
This is not difficult a difficult task.
The question is whether Black officials and candidates will heed such advice or listen to GOP operatives and advisers who say — “don’t waste your time and money.”
That’s what the Democratic establishment did in Texas — to its regret?
Clarence V. McKee is president of McKee Communications, Inc., a government, political, and media relations and training consulting firm in Florida. He is the author of “How Obama Failed Black America and How Trump Is Helping It.” Read Clarence V. McKee’s Reports — More Here.