Have Republicans finally realized the importance of becoming a big tent party? There are signs this is precisely the case, especially when it comes to courting minority voters. The GOP has been working hard to make inroads with Latino voters in Texas, and it appears those efforts might be paying off.
Former President Donald Trump shocked the nation when he garnered a significant number of votes from predominantly Hispanic areas in South Texas. But the outcomes of Tuesday’s primary elections revealed that Trump’s success was not an isolated incident. After the May 24 runoffs, there could be as many as eight Latinos, six of whom are women, vying for congressional seats across the Lone Star State. This could signify a new trend for the party, which has traditionally struggled to attract black and brown voters.
Mayra Flores, who won the party’s nomination for her district, emphasized the importance of representation. “We want to show Hispanics that this is what the Republican Party looks like. It looks just like them,” she told Politico. “We were raised to think that the Republican Party was for the rich and only white men and that’s not true. Look at us. We are the face of the party.”
Flores was joined by two other Latinas in the Rio Grande Valley, who secured the Republican nomination for congressional seats. Monica De La Cruz, who is endorsed by Trump, and Cassy Garcia, a former aide to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), also received the nod. These races are of particular historical significance, as well. Never before have Hispanic women held congressional seats in South Texas.
The GOP has also begun ramping up efforts to win over black votes. Following President Trump’s example, many in the party have come to recognize that the key to making inroads in black communities is to show up consistently. But they have also seen that representation matters when it comes to enticing black Americans to vote Republican.
A slew of black candidates is set to face off against Democrats in key races across the country. Former NFL star Herschel Walker, with Trump’s blessing, is mounting a challenge against Sen. Raphael Warnock in Georgia. Veteran and previous Senate candidate John James is running for Congress to represent Michigan’s tenth district. Tamika Hamilton, another veteran, hopes to represent California’s sixth district. These are but a small sampling of the black Republican candidates seeking office.
If the GOP is going to win over non-white voters, it is essential that candidates show up in these communities with a winning message focusing on kitchen table issues. Given that most minorities share man conservative values with the Republican Party, it makes more sense to focus on areas of commonality.
But the GOP must also remember the importance of representation. Pushing more minority candidates is arguably as important as engaging directly with the community. One of the reasons people of color have not considered the Republican Party as an option is its lingering image as a party of “old white men.” To put it simply, they do not see themselves in the GOP. Changing that gives Democrats just one more reason to dread November.
~ Read more from Jeff Charles.
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