Cook Political Report: Congressional seats in Texas, Florida leaning Republican

(The Center Square) – In a new Cook Political Report analysis of ten Congressional seats up for grabs this November, two open seats, one each in Texas and Florida, appear to be leaning Republican. A third, which previously leaned Democrat, is now considered a toss-up that could be won by a Republican in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas.

In an open race in Florida’s Congressional District 7 race, the outcome has moved from a likely Republican win to a solid Republican win. The seat became open after incumbent Democratic Rep. Stephanie Murphy said she wasn’t running for reelection.

According to the report, Republican candidate Cory Mills, a decorated U.S. Army combat veteran and Bronze Star recipient, is likely to defeat Democratic candidate Karen Green, a Jamaican immigrant.

Two races to watch are in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley where two Republican women are poised to flip an historically Democratic area red.

In an open race in Texas’ new Congressional District 15, the outcome has moved from a likely Republican win to a solid Republican win, according to Cook’s analysis. Republican Monica De La Cruz is likely to defeat her Democratic opponent, Michelle Vellejo, and Libertarian candidate Ross Lynn Leone, according to the report.

“The Rio Grande Valley of Texas remains a trouble spot for Democrats,” Cook’s new analysis released Wednesday states. “Both parties now believe the open 15th CD will flip red and that Democratic Rep. Vicente Gonzalez is at high risk in the new 34th CD.”

In Texas’ new Congressional District 34, incumbent Rep. Vicente Gonzalez is running against newly elected Republican Rep. Mayra Flores. Flores won a special election earlier this year as the first Republican to win in her district in Texas history and as the first Mexican-born woman to be elected to Congress in U.S. history.

Of the 10 races evaluated, four races lean Democrat: California CD9 and Illinois CD6, and two races that were previously considered toss ups now leaning Democrat in Michigan CD8 and Nevada CD4.

In Florida’s CD27, incumbent Republican Rep. Maria Salazar is likely to win reelection, as is incumbent Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks in Iowa’s CD1, according to the analysis.

Pennsylvania’s CD7 and Texas’ CD34 appear to be toss-ups, according to the report.

The shift in south Texas, many political pundits have argued, has been the outworking of years of work put in by Republican candidate Monica De La Cruz and others in the Rio Grande Valley.

De La Cruz ran in 2020 against Democrat Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, nearly beating him in what was the old CD15 before redistricting. Her efforts helped lay the groundwork for Flores to win her special election in that district before she ran in the new 34th congressional district against Gonzalez.

District 15 was vacated by Gonzalez, who ran for reelection in CD34 after redistricting.

“2020 was a pivotal moment for South Texas because in Texas 15, obviously we swung the district 18 points,” De La Cruz told Fox News Digital. “We did that without any national help, any state help, just hundreds of patriots that said, ‘No more. We are no longer woke. We are awake to what is happening to us.’”

Now, De La Cruz and Flores are hoping to flip traditionally Democratic strongholds red in November.

“We’re not complicated people here in South Texas,” De La Cruz said. “We love America. We want security. We love our family and we love God. It’s really that easy and that’s why our values align with the Republican Party.”

She’s also argued that Hispanics in south Texas are overwhelmingly prolife and reject the far-left agenda of progressive Democrats. They also support a secure border.

Vallejo, a small businesswoman, said she won “through a pueblo-powered process with LUPE Votes.” Her platform includes pro-abortion rights, “Medicare for All,” a mandatory $15 minimum wage, a federal jobs guarantee program providing union jobs, open borders, a pathway to citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants and expanding asylum.

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