Cook Political Report, a campaign analysis firm, changed the race between Texans Democratic Rep. Vicente Gonzalez and Republican Rep. Mayra Flores from “lean Democrat” to a “toss-up” on Wednesday.
Gonzalez, who is now running in Texas’ 34th Congressional District, could be in danger of losing to Flores, as the Cook Political Report considers the race to be a “toss-up” despite the fact that the district that leans Democrat by a wide margin. Under the new districting lines that will apply in the November midterms, President Joe Biden would have won the district by a 15.5% margin in the presidential elections 2020, according to the Texas Tribune.
Flores criticized Gonzalez for switching from Texas’ 15th Congressional District to the 34th Congressional District in order to have a better chance of winning, according to the Tribune. The congressman currently represents the 15th district and captured 50.5% of the vote in the 2020 general election, according to Ballotpedia.
“He’s abandoning his constituents,” Flores said, according to The Tribune. “He had no idea he was going to have to be running against an incumbent.”
“There’s no way Vicente can lose this race,” former Democratic Rep. Filemon Vela, the congressman who last led the district, told the Tribune. “The world could collapse and he’s still going to win.”
Gonzalez’s campaign paid $1,200 to a political blogger who repeatedly targeted Flores with racial stereotypes and sexually explicit attacks, according to NBC News. However, the representative and the blogger denied that the money went toward the attacks against Flores.
Flores, who is the first Mexican-born congresswoman, won 51% of Texas’ 34th Congressional District votes during June’s special election under the old district lines in which Biden beat former President Donald Trump by 4 points, the Tribune reported. Flores’ campaign has raised $1.7 million as of Sept. 1, campaign finance records show.
Gonzalez’s office did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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