MCALLEN, Texas – U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez says it would be a mistake for Democrats to choose a candidate outside the mainstream to run in Congressional District 15, the seat he is about to depart.

The voters of CD 15, which is anchored in Hidalgo County, have elected Democrats to Congress for decades. However, following redistricting, the boundary lines of the district have been redrawn by Republicans to favor Republicans. A bunch of counties to the north of the Rio Grande Valley have been added to the district to make it more GOP-friendly. Indeed, if the 2020 presidential election had been held in the new-look district, Donald Trump would have won by 2.8 percent.

“A liberal, super progressive can win the March primary. But we lose in November, (because it is now a swing district),” Gonzalez, D-McAllen, told the Rio Grande Guardian. “If we choose the right candidate we can retain the district.”

Because it is now much harder for a Democrat to win in CD 15, Gonzalez has switched to neighboring Congressional 34, anchored in Cameron County.

LUPE Votes and We the Pueblo do not care what Gonzalez thinks. They are actively looking for a progressive candidate to run in CD 15.

“We want a person that really represents the people, the struggling people,” said Martha Sanchez, an activist for LUPE Votes.

Dani Marrero Hi, communications for LUPE Votes agrees.

“If you know someone in your life who is ready to fight for working class South Texans in Congress, we need you to nominate them,” Marrero Hi said. “The only requirement are for you to be ready to represent working class South Texans. You don’t need to be rich. You don’t need to be the top one percent of the Valley. You don’t need fancy degrees. All you need is las ganas to represent our people in Congress.”

The attached podcast features a recent news conference held by LUPE Votes and We the Pueblo in Archer Park, McAllen. Sanchez and Marrero Hi give their description of the sort of candidate the groups are looking for to run in CD 15, while another LUPE Votes member, Jacquline Arias, provides details on upcoming LUPE Votes events. 

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