The 2022 Primary season has been one to watch. Primaries began March 1 in Texas with an interim period between the next primaries held in May. Since then, pivotal races in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and South Carolina have taken place. Many Republican candidates have sought endorsements from former President Donald Trump. Out of the more than one hundred candidates he’s endorsed, very few haven’t won their primary. However, those aren’t the only primaries making news.
Last week, during a special election held in Texas, a Congressional seat in a traditionally very blue part of Texas was flipped. Her win is historic in that the seat has been held by a Democrat for more than a century. Furthermore, the win could be an admonition for Democrats across the country – the seat which Flores won is in a part of Texas with a chiefly Hispanic population and on the southern United States border. Flores said after winning the seat that people are angry about the state of things in this country.
Cesar Ybarra, the vice president of policy for think-tank FreedomWorks said of the Flores victory: “Hispanics are Republicans; they just don’t know it yet.” Ybarra borrowed the phrase from former Republican president Ronald Reagan.
Ybarra says that Republicans are now making inroads with Hispanic voters, and that they are much better at explaining policy to Hispanic voters. Ybarra added that the seemingly crisis after crisis of the Biden Administration has highlighted what Republicans have been saying all along.
It’s noteworthy to add that Maya Flores changed her political affiliation before the special vote. She was a lifelong Democrat until she decided to run for office.
Flores’ district, where she’ll serve the next seven months, runs from Brownsville to just outside San Antonio. She is replacing retiring Filemon Vela. Vela had initially said he would retire in January 2023, after the midterms. However, in 2021, he announced that he would leave in June 2022 to join the Akin Gump law firm, a lobbyist group.
In the District of Columbia on June 21, however, no Congressional seats are up for grabs, but, Mayor Muriel Bowser is up for re-election. Bowser has made a national name for herself in regards to the January 6 incident and in her manner of combating COVID-19 in her city. If she wins on Tuesday, she will be the second mayor in Washington, DC’s history to serve three terms. Marion Barry, another embattled Democrat, was the first to do so.
Bowser has three primary challengers: Trayon White, Robert White, and James Butler.
Trayon White currently serves as a member of the City Council in DC. He represents Ward 8. He’s also worked as a grassroots organizer and activist. White has served in this capacity since 2017. White came under fire during that time for saying that a Jewish banking family – the Rothschilds – controlled the weather. His remarks were deemed anti-Semitic. He later said that he did not intend to come across to the public in that manner, and he expressed regret for the comments.
Robert White is also a member of the DC City Council and a member of the Democratic party. He’s previously served as a legislative counsel for Eleanor Holmes Norton, who is the Delegate for the District of Columbia in Congress. Robert White is running on a platform of improving public safety.
James Butler is a former attorney in the DC area. He has held no prior political office. He is running on a “law and order” platform.
In the District of Columbia, Tuesday also offers a chance to vote on the open District Attorney seat. There are three Democratic contenders for the position: Brian Schwalb, Bruce V. Spiva, and Ryan Jones.
In Virginia, two incumbent Congressional seats currently held by Democrats are facing Republican challengers. Abigail Spanberger and Elaine Luria are seeing Republicans vying for their seats. Representative Jennifer Wexton, who represents a chiefly Democratic district outside DC is facing Republican challengers as well.