This Swing District House race could be one of the most expensive of 2022, according to GOP candidate

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The 2022 House election cycle is expected to be fiercely fought as Democrats defend very slim majorities and Republicans contemplate the potential for historic gains in a favorable political environment. But few races can be as competitive – or expensive – as the open seat in Texas’ 15th Congressional District.

There is no incumbent in the 15th after Republicans kicked Representative Vicente Gonzalez, D-Texas, from his seat during the state redistribution process. GOP candidate Monica De La Cruz, who nearly upset Gonzalez in 2020, is on the move again in a cycle that should be even more favorable for Republicans.

“I think the Democratic Party is going to spend a lot of money on my race and inject tons of resources into District 15,” De La Cruz said. “We have already seen Pelosi and AOC’s investment in Vicente Gonzalez’s campaign earlier this year, and I think we’re going to continue to see this trend as they know what we know, which is that there has a revival in South Texas. “

Republican Monica De La Cruz, candidate in the upcoming general election for the 15th Congressional District, speaks in her office in Alamo, Texas, Thursday, July 8, 2021. In the Republicans’ attempt to regain control of Congress, this party traditionally Democratic South Texas has quietly become a major battleground. After making unexpected gains last November, the GOP is focusing on a trio of House seats in the region as key targets ahead of next year’s midterm elections. These include the 15th Congressional District, which has not sent a Republican to Washington since its inception in 1903, but where the GOP newcomer was three points away from victory in 2020.
(AP Photo / Eric Gay)

According to FiveThirtyEight, the 15th Congressional District is the most competitive in the state after GOP lawmakers redrawn the state’s district boundaries based on the latest census. And Texas is expected to be a hotbed for political spending this year as former presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke runs to turn the governor’s mansion of Texas blue after a presidential campaign in 2020 and a costly Senate campaign in 2018.

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De La Cruz says she expects the entire 2022 cycle to look like the closing days of the 2020 election, when it became clear she had a chance to win and Democrats flooded resources from South Texas. This included a visit by then-running mate Kamala Harris with O’Rourke and former Housing and Urban Development secretary Julián Castro.

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, DN.Y., also joined Castro in calling a bank in Texas days before the election.

The GOP political machine is also preparing to spend a lot of money in the 15th arrondissement. De La Cruz was part of the first round of non-holder approvals of GOP PAC Winning for Women (WFW). This PAC has supported women like Reps Maria Salazar, R-Fla., And Young Kim, R-Calif., Who switched seats from blue to red last year.

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is seen as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before the House Financial Services Committee in Capitol Hill, Washington, DC on October 23, 2019. Ocasio-Cortez assisted Representative Vicente Gonzalez, D-Texas, in her Race 2020 against Monica De La Cruz.

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is seen as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before the House Financial Services Committee in Capitol Hill, Washington, DC on October 23, 2019. Ocasio-Cortez assisted Representative Vicente Gonzalez, D-Texas, in her Race 2020 against Monica De La Cruz.
(Aurora Samperio / NurPhoto via Getty Images)

De La Cruz was also named in the GOP “Young Guns” program, an effort between parliamentary minority leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., And the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) to elevate candidates with a chance to overthrow the blue districts. She faces a major challenge from businessman Mauro Garza, but such support from the GOP establishment can be difficult for Garza to overcome.

We are building on the momentum we had in 2020, where we ran a purely popular campaign, ”said De La Cruz. His 2020 effort against Gonzalez was spent roughly two to one, according to Open the secrets.

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“There were no resources, the financial resources available. But what we had, we had hundreds of volunteers… who devoted their time and energy to working on this campaign,” said De La Cruz. “So I think what is going to happen in 2022 is that we are going to marry the hard work of these volunteers with the financial means that have been presented to us.”

Besides Garza’s challenge, De La Cruz faces other headwinds as she seeks to improve her 2020 election performance. Perhaps chief among them is the fact that former President Donald Trump does not will not be on the ballot next year.

Trump has been widely credited with helping the GOP make inroads with minorities in 2020, and the 15th Congressional District is strongly Hispanic. His absence from the ballot may result in a drop in minority turnout for Republicans.

Former President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on Thursday, February 7, 2019. Trump has been credited with helping the GOP increase its share of the vote among minorities in 2020 (AP Photo / Andrew Harnik)

Former President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on Thursday, February 7, 2019. Trump has been credited with helping the GOP increase its share of the vote among minorities in 2020 (AP Photo / Andrew Harnik)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) reports that it is considering attacking De la Cruz over allegations of mistreatment of her ex-husband’s teenage daughter and the former president’s false allegations of electoral fraud . De la Cruz said in a tweet last month that his divorce was linked to “mental health issues in our family” and asked for privacy.

“The DCCC will fight until election day to ensure this district remains in Democratic hands,” a spokesperson for the group told the Texas Tribune last month.

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But a president’s first mid-term election cycle is typically much more favorable for the non-ruling party, and Republicans believe 2022 will be no exception. They see GOP governor-elect Glenn Youngkin’s victory in Virginia last month as a harbinger of things to come as President Biden’s approval ratings plummet.

Republicans also say issues like inflation, critical racial theory, schools and immigration will drive their voters to the polls.

“This district goes down to McAllen, Texas, which is the ground zero for the illegal immigration catastrophe that Biden has caused,” De La Cruz told Fox News. “Hispanics are waking up and realizing that their values ​​of faith, family, freedom – of supporting local border patrols and law enforcement – that these values ​​match the Republican Party and not the Democratic Party that has come so far. to the left. “

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The DCCC did not respond to a Fox News request for comment for this story.

There are currently 221 Democrats and 213 Republicans in the House, with one vacancy. Republicans say they can potentially win dozens of seats next year.


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