Feehery: A better than even shot of flipping a Texas district

Kyle Sinclair likes to joke that he has passed as many laws as his opponent: zero. Rep. Joaquin CastroJoaquin CastroFeehery: A better than even shot of flipping a Texas district Lawmakers call for investigation into proposed AT&T WarnerMedia, Discovery merger Israel says blacklisted NSO Group 'has nothing to do' with government policies MORE (D-Texas), who has been in Congress since 2013, is a favorite of House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiHouse Republicans bash Democrats' China competition bill Man seen wearing 'Camp Auschwitz' sweatshirt on Jan. 6 pleads guilty to trespassing Democrats should ignore Senators Manchin and Sinema MORE (D-Calif.) and attends all the right cocktail parties, along with his twin brother, Julian. But that access to the Speaker is no substitute for doing the hard work of legislating. 

Most analysts don’t give Sinclair much of a chance against the well-funded Castro. He won last time by a substantial margin, the district has a distinct Hispanic flavor and it routinely votes in Democrats. 

But the ground is shifting in Southwestern Texas. Hispanics are taking another look at the Republican Party, Joe BidenJoe BidenNorth Korea conducts potential 6th missile test in a month Clyburn predicts Supreme Court contender J. Michelle Childs would get GOP votes Overnight Defense & National Security — US delivers written response to Russia MORE has been a complete disaster, and the crime and chaos that comes from Biden’s open border is unpopular with all Texans. 

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Earlier this year, state Rep. Ryan Guillen decided that the Democrats no longer represented his values, and he switched to the Republican Party. Last month, Republican John Lujan beat Democrat Frank Ramirez in a seat that had been long held by the Democrats. 

There are other indications that the Sinclair run for Congress isn’t as far-fetched as one might think. A new poll from The Wall Street Journal found that Hispanic voters are now split between Republicans and Democrats on the generic ballot, at 37 percent each. A further 22 percent responded that they were undecided. Joe Biden’s approval rating among Hispanics has fallen from a high of 65 percent in early June to just 45 percent in an Economist-YouGov poll when it comes to handling the pandemic. And, according to a Politico-Morning Consult poll, when it comes to the economy, his approval is even lower, at 40 percent.

The trick for Sinclair is to make the case that his values most closely align with the values of the bulk of his constituents, no matter what his ethnic background might be.  The district itself is working class, with more than its fair share of veterans. Sinclair has worked in the health care industry for a decade and he served in the military, so he has more than a passing knowledge of the concerns that many of the district’s residents face. 

Sinclair doesn’t speak Spanish, but that puts him in good company with his opponent. Sinclair is not a polished orator; the videos that he posts on his campaign website are not exactly professionally produced, and if you look at them closely, you can see his tattooed arms as he holds up one of his children (he has eight of them).

Sinclair does have a basic belief in the promise of America, the goodness of its people and the importance of freedom and the free market in making this country truly great again. 

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Castro, whose family has a storied history of dallying in Marxist politics, is more closely aligned with Fidel Castro than he is with Sam Houston. His mother strongly supported the Communist Angela Davis, and tried to get her freed from prison in 1970. Davis went on the receive the Lenin Prize from the Soviet Union and became an early adopter of the defund the police movement. 

Castro would go on to graduate Stanford and then Harvard Law School, and then firmly become part of the governing elite of the Democratic Party. Castro’s notable accomplishment in Congress, outside of serving as an impeachment manager for Donald TrumpDonald TrumpNorth Korea conducts potential 6th missile test in a month Kemp leading Perdue in Georgia gubernatorial primary: poll US ranked 27th least corrupt country in the world MORE, was to release personal information about those who supported the president and lived in San Antonio in 2019.

It is unusual for a member of Congress to call on his supporters to attack his own constituents, but that might be Castro’s only long standing congressional legacy. 

Kyle Sinclair, like most of the folks who live in the district he is running in, didn’t go to Harvard. He doesn’t think of his constituents as Latinx, which is the favorite phrase used by fancy Democrats these days. He thinks of them as Americans who deserve real representation in the halls of Congress. And he has a better than even shot of winning this coming November.

Feehery is a partner at EFB Advocacy and blogs at www.thefeeherytheory.com. He served as spokesman to former House Speaker Dennis HastertJohn (Dennis) Dennis HastertFeehery: The Fourth Estate needs to heal thyself Feehery: DC will become the inverse of West Berlin Feehery: The left's phony concerns about democracy, civil war MORE (R-Ill.), as communications director to former House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Texas), and as a speechwriter to former House Minority Leader Bob Michel (R-Ill.).