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Top Latino group, environmental group endorse South Texas Democrat for House

File – A voter registration table is seen at a political event for Texas gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke, Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022, in Fredericksburg, Texas. On the brink of November’s midterm elections, both full-time election workers in rural Gillespie County suddenly and stunningly quit this month with less than 70 days before voters start casting ballots. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

The Latino Victory Fund and the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) on Tuesday endorsed Michelle Vallejo, a progressive Democrat running for the most competitive House seat in Texas.

“It’s an honor to have earned the support of LCV Action Fund and Latino Victory Fund,” said Vallejo. 

“As South Texas faces more severe weather every year and is on the verge of the worst water crisis in our history, our health and our economy are taking the hit.”

Vallejo, 31, is running in a district that was redrawn after the 2020 census, shifting from a slight Democratic lean to a true purple district.

The 15th Congressional District is currently represented by Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D), who after redistricting and the retirement of former Rep. Filemon Vela (D) decided to run in the neighboring, more Democratic seat.

In May, Vallejo won her primary by 30 votes and in July she received the endorsement of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’s campaign arm, an indication that Hispanic Democrats are betting she can win the increasingly competitive 15th District.

Vallejo, a local small-business owner, is running as an unabashed progressive, while her opponent, Republican Mónica de la Cruz, is running as a Trump-backed conservative.

Vallejo is also the only Democratic Latina running in one of the three South Texas Hispanic-majority districts, and the only Democrat who’s not already in Congress.

Gonzalez and longtime Rep. Henry Cuellar (D) are running in the two neighboring districts against Republican Latinas — because Gonzalez switched districts, he is also running against a House incumbent, Rep. Mayra Flores (R).

“Michelle Vallejo is the only Latina candidate running in the 15th District who supports issues and policies that will help South Texas families and Latinos across the country,” said Nathalie Rayes, the Latino Victory Fund president and CEO. 

“She is a small business owner who will fight for jobs and higher wages and the daughter of immigrants who will advocate for a fair and humane immigration system,” added Rayes.

Although Vallejo is openly progressive, many of her positions are filtered through the lens of the staunchly moderate-to-conservative Rio Grande Valley communities in the south of the district.

For instance, Vallejo won the dual endorsement in part based on her environmental proposals, which focus on job creation through clean energy, rather than combative rhetoric on climate change.

“Michelle Vallejo will fight for every community in South Texas to have clean air, clean water, and a healthy environment, especially people in frontline communities facing the brunt of corporate polluters,” said Tiernan Sittenfeld, the LCV Action Fund’s senior vice president of government affairs.

“As a small business owner and family of farm workers, immigrants, and entrepreneurs in the Rio Grande Valley, she understands what is at stake. She is committed to protecting our environment, strengthening our democracy, and building a just and equitable clean energy future for all,” Sittenfeld added.

Tags Latino Victory Fund League of Conservation Voters Texas Vicente Gonzalez

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