With early voting underway, the race to turn out voters is officially on in Texas. And while there are just a handful of competitive congressional races thanks to redistricting, one looks to be a true tossup.
A new poll from Way to Win shows a dead heat in the TX-15 race between Michelle Vallejo and Monica De La Cruz. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez currently represents the district but is running in the TX-34 district. In 2020, he beat de la Cruz by three points in TX-15.
With all signs pointing to a tight race, many in Texas were shocked by the baffling decision from the House Majority PAC, the biggest PAC which supports Democrats, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) to cancel ads for the race. In an ironic twist, the current chair of the DCCC, Sean Patrick Maloney, himself is in a tight race in New York.
Questions have swirled about south Texas ever since the 2020 election. Republicans are betting big that south Texas will turn red with a trio of extremist Latina candidates.
Backed by Trump, De La Cruz is running a true rightwing campaign. According to the issues page on her website, she wants to bring back the Remain in Mexico policy, implement welfare requirements, and keep abortion illegal in Texas. In 2020 after she lost, she questioned the election results. She also attended a “stop the steal” rally and supported the embarrassing lawsuit from indicted Attorney General Ken Paxton to toss out the electoral votes of four swing states.
In a sharp contrast, Vallejo is running on a progressive platform to better the lives of her community. She supports raising the minimum wage, expanding Medicare, and investing in clean energy.
For nearly 25 years, Vallejo’s family has managed Pulga Los Portales in Alton, Texas. More than a market, Los Portales is an important community center. It played a vital role during the COVID-19 pandemic when it was transformed into a drive-thru.
Vallejo attended Columbia University. She also watched as her mother battled multiple sclerosis. Her mother was only 46 when she passed away. This prompted Vallejo to embark on a career of public service.
Despite the actions of the DCCC and the House Majority PAC, Vallejo’s supporters believe she has a real chance at becoming a member of Congress. Latino Victory Fund, a political action committee that backs progressive Latino candidates, affirmed their support of Vallejo in a statement to the Signal.
Nathalie Rayes, the President and CEO of Latino Victory Fund, pointed to the latest poll as a sign of Vallejo’s surging strength. “This new poll reflects how hard she’s working to win every vote and that she has the momentum needed to be competitive and win,” said Rayes. “We’re proud to support Michelle and do as much as possible to help her make it over the finish line because she’s certainly within striking distance.”
A longtime writer and journalist, Jessica was thrilled to join the Texas Signal where she could utilize her unique perspective on politics and culture. As the Features and Opinion Editor, she is responsible for coordinating editorials and segments from diverse authors. She is also the host of the podcast the Tex Mix, as well as the co-host for the weekly SignalCast. Jessica attended Harvard College, is a onetime fitness blogger, and has now transitioned to recreational runner (for which her joints are thankful).