MCALLEN, TEXAS – The two Congressional District 15 candidates have commented on Tuesday night’s general election result.

Democrat Michelle Vallejo, who lost, said she is proud of the race she and her team ran. Republican Monica De La Cruz, who won, said she will fight for all South Texans. 

With 99 percent of the votes counted across the district, De La Cruz secured 80,869 votes, or 53.3 percent, while Vallejo picked up 67,913 votes, or 44.8 percent. 

In Hidalgo County, Vallejo secured 51,312 votes, or 55.31 percent, while De La Cruz picked up 39,604 votes, or 42.69 percent.

The Republican-controlled Legislature redrew the boundary lines of CD 15 to flip it from a Democratic leaning seat to a Republican one. They did this by reducing the percentage of the Hispanic Citizen Voting Age Population and increasing the White Citizen Voting Age Population. The total Hispanic population remained roughly the same.

While conceding the election to De La Cruz, Vallejo pointed out that Republican “dark money” groups poured over 2.5 million dollars into attack ads against her. She said her campaign remained focused on running a race based on what mattered most to South Texans. She said she ran on a bold platform, advocating for access to affordable health care, good-paying union jobs, protecting Social Security and Medicare and fighting for a women’s right to choose. 

This is what Vallejo said about her defeat:

“Since day one, my campaign has been fueled by the dreams of our South Texas community and our faith in a brighter future for our families. Our campaign was never just about winning or losing this race — it was about fighting for our home and proving that running a campaign of hope can go head to head with a campaign fueled by hate and bankrolled by outside interest greed.”

“This people-powered campaign was exactly that, a campaign by the people of South Texas that knew when it comes to fighting for our home, we have to do it ourselves. Because we know our people, nuestra gente, and we’re the ones that know what our families go through every single day. The fact that a daughter of immigrants and first-time candidate for Congress nominated by her community to run was the Democratic nominee for Texas’ 15th Congressional District is a victory in itself. Together, we have proven that South Texas is ready to fight for South Texas – this is just the beginning. Thank you, South Texas. I love you!”

Vallejo launched her campaign on December 14, 2021 with the backing of local political organization LUPE Votes. She was later endorsed by President Bill Clinton, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, Representatives, Pramila Jayapal, Lizzie Pannill Fletcher, Veronica Escobar, Joaquin Castro, Sylvia Garcia, Colin Allred, Marc Veasey, Lloyd Doggett, the Texas AFL-CIO, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, EMILY’s List, Democracy for America, Way to Lead, the Working Families Party, Move On, United Farm Workers, CWA District 6, Service Employees International Union – Texas (SEIU TX), J Street, Progressive Turnout Project, Texas College Democrats, Mijente, Latino Victory Fund, former Texas State Senator Wendy Davis.

This is what De La Cruz said about her victory:

“I am incredibly honored, humbled, and blessed by tonight’s win. If there was ever any doubt, let it be known tonight — from the land of Juan Seguín, Selena Quintanilla, and the World Series champions Houston Astros — that El Sueño Americano is alive and well in South Texas. Only in this great country can the granddaughter of a Mexican farm worker go from ironing shirts to get through college to become a member of Congress. In Washington, I will fight for all South Texans — be they black, white Latino, or Asian; Republicans or Democrats; gay or straight. Estamos unidos and together we will form a more perfect union to renew the promise of America for the next generation.”

In remarks made at her election watch party, De La Cruz said of Vallejo: “I also want all of us to give a round of applause to my opponent, Michelle Vallejo. Michelle, you ran a tough race, and I am proud of you, just like I’m sure your family is proud of you. I want all of your supporters to know that they can count on me to fight for all South Texans.”

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