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Special election campaign manager for Flores’s opponent rips Democratic leadership after loss

In this Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021, photo Republican congressional candidate Mayra Flores attends a Cameron County Conservatives event in Brownsville, Texas. Flores argues that Democrats are forcing Texans choose between their energy sector jobs and curbing climate change.

The campaign manager for Dan Sanchez, the Democrat who lost the special election for Texas’s 34th Congressional District, ripped Democratic leadership for the outcome in the heavily Latino district. 

Sanchez lost to Republican Mayra Flores, who was born in Mexico and came to the U.S. at 6 years old. The district is 85 percent Hispanic and voted for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016 by 21.5 percent and for President Biden by 4.2 percent in 2020. 

“The DCCC, DNC, and other associated national committees have failed at their single purpose of existence: winning elections,” Collin Steele, Sanchez’s campaign manager, said in a statement, referring to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Democratic National Committee. “The loss in TX34 was a complete and total abdication of duty.”

“We gave up a reliably Democratic Congressional seat for no reason at all; we deserve to know why,” Steele added. 

Democrats decided not to match Republicans’ spending in the race for the seat while expecting to easily win it back in November, when Flores will face Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D), who is moving from the neighboring 15th District to run in the 34th but opted not to leave his current seat to compete in the special election. If she loses, Flores will be in Congress for just about six months.

“I hope the DCCC learns their lesson with this before it happens across the country,” Gonzalez said, Politico reported

“They have just forgotten about the brown people on the border,” Gonzalez added. “And that’s basically what it is. I’m not going to try to sugarcoat it anymore. They are taking Latinos in South Texas for granted.”

Flores’s win is a hopeful sight for Republicans, who are favored to recapture the House in the upcoming midterm elections. 

The win is especially meaningful for Republicans, as the party has been working to garner more Hispanic voters.

In Sanchez’s concession speech to Flores, he also pointed to Democratic leadership’s failures for his loss in the district that has been overwhelmingly Democrat. 

“Too many factors were against us, including little to no support from the national Democratic Party and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee,” he said.

The DCCC tried to deflect blame from leadership, focusing on the future November election.

“We want to thank Dan Sanchez for stepping up and answering the call to public service. MAGA Republican Mayra Flores shouldn’t get too comfortable — she’ll barely have enough time to set up her desk before South Texans send her packing again. It’s all eyes on November now as we gear up to send Vicente Gonzalez back to Congress this fall,” said DCCC Chair Sean Patrick Maloney.

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