The GOP is gaining among Texas Hispanics. Women are leading the charge. – Steve Bannon’s War Room: Pandemic

Neighboring Starr County saw the most dramatic shift of any county in the state when thousands more Republicans turned out to vote than in prior elections. While President Joe Biden ultimately won the county with 52 percent of the vote to Trump’s 47 percent, that paled in comparison to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 performance, when she garnered 79 percent to Trump’s 19 percent.

Claudia Alcazar, chairwoman of the Starr County Republican Party, switched parties about two years ago after being a Democrat her entire adult life. She said it hasn’t been an easy transition in communities like hers that remain majority Democratic, pointing to the strain it has caused in her own family.

Alcazar, 54, said her decision to become a Republican came after discussing politics with a high school friend running for mayor.

“We went down the list of all my beliefs and at the end I was like, ‘Oh my God, I am a Republican. I just didn’t know it.’ I was so used to being told and seeing myself as a Democrat,” she said. “It’s like being used to drinking Coca Cola and then one day you taste Dr. Pepper and you’re like, ‘wow, I really like this one.’ I truly shocked myself.”

After a pause, she said, “And some of my family members. They’re not happy with me.”

Like Alcazar, Hispanic GOP women in the Rio Grande Valley don’t have one specific reason for why they ultimately switched parties, according to interviews with several Hispanic GOP women officials across South Texas and GOP operatives.

They want more border security or are staunchly against abortions. They feel their husbands, family members, neighbors and friends that are Border Patrol agents or are in law enforcement are being unfairly villainized by Democrats. They worry Democrats are hostile to the oil and gas industry, which provides many good-paying jobs in the state. They worry the left is forgetting family values and the value of work.


Frank Miele