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Party Switching Is Playing With Election Year Fire

South Texas elected officials are redlining their own party.

by | Dec 12, 2023 | Articles, Opinion, Politics

Party switching seems to be the latest trend in a political landscape that has the electorate fuming mad. The game of switcheroo is making noise and news, most recently in Texas, as the border crisis is all but ignored in the Swamp. What has Democrats most befuddled and alarmed, though, is that it isn’t just voters changing sides. Now state and local officials are dropping the D and posting the R by their names.

GettyImages-1840351900 Joe Biden

Joe Biden (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

What’s driving these Democrats over to the GOP? It’s a real head-scratcher – or maybe not.

Southwest Texas is under immense pressure and strapped financially thanks to illegal immigrant health care, housing, and food costs as people are allowed to cross the border willy-nilly. Burdened with the responsibility to American citizens first and foremost, and consistently disappointing those voters, it seems some Democrat lawmakers would rather switch than fight.

Some notables include Kenedy County Attorney Allison Strauss, Kleberg County Attorney Kira Talip Sanchez, Pecos County Sheriff Thomas Perkins, Terrell County Precinct 3 Commissioner Arnulfo Serna, and state Reps. Ryan Guillen and J.M. Lozano.

But Hispanics Should Love Democrats, Right?

As well as the push factor of border and economic dysfunction that many of the party switchers blame on the Biden administration, there is also the pull factor: following the voters.

That Hispanics ideologically identify with the Democratic Party is a common refrain of the left that year by year appears to be crumbling. Instead, pay attention to Democrat Representative Henry Cuellar, a ten-term US congressman from south Texas who publicly stated on the record, “Aside from our Mexican heritage, much of South Texas has demographic similarities with some of the more conservative strongholds and white rural communities in the state.”

McAllen Mayor Javier Villalobos is a Republican who won his office in 2021. During an interview with Fox Business News, Stuart Varney expressed his shock at the mayor’s victory: “You are right on the border, eighty-five percent of the voters in your county are Hispanic, you are a Republican, and you won. Can you explain that? Because not many Americans expect a Hispanic electorate to go for a Republican mayor!”

Coastal elites just don’t get it. Villalobos set Varney on a different path: “I think a lot of people know, or should know, that Hispanics generally are very conservative.” His platform of limited government and lower taxes struck the right chord in the region.

Party Switching From Blue to Red on the Rise

In 2021, as Joe Biden took the wheel of the country and drove it seemingly into the ditch, one million Democrats made the switch, and the Democratic Party bigwigs had a near apoplectic event. While switching can lead to a strengthening of local and regional bases for the beneficiary party, it remains something of a double-edged sword. Some see the onboarding of former political opponents as a “dilution” of the dominant philosophy. While alliances may be forged on one issue, strange bedfellows may later find they disagree on just about everything else.

Texas electeds feel their priorities with national security on the border greatly align more with conservatives. Living and serving in the incredibly small and underfunded parts of the international boundary, with no interest or aid from the Biden/Harris bunch, may have just reached critical mass. In the future, look for more switchers than fighters down south.

Read More From Sarah Cowgill

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