McAllen, Texas, is a blue city. At least it was. Yesterday, it officially flipped to red as Javier Villalobos defeated Democrat Veronica Vela Whitacre by a narrow margin in the mayoral runoff election.
BORDER TOWN, McAllen, Texas, that's 85% hispanic, has just flipped its mayor from Democrat to Republican!
— Cari Kelemen 2.0 (@CariKelemen) June 6, 2021
Despite being safely blue with a huge majority of Hispanic voters, the border town has been one of the many to experience massive human smuggling activities ever since Democrats took control in Washington DC. Illegal immigration was at the heart of the campaigns on both sides, but it’s hard for a Democrat to have credibility by opposing illegal immigration when their party is embracing open borders policies.
For those in cities and states affected by the Democrats’ border crisis, this race could be a harbinger for future elections as well as a roadmap for future Republican success. With the economy fading fast after showing signs of recovery in the last few months under President Trump, the border crisis will act as a separate reminder of the Democratic Party’s failures.
Pay attention to McAllen, Texas, GOP. If opposing open borders in a city with an 85% Hispanic population can resonate, it should be the rallying cry for a red wave in 2022.
Here is the full story by Allen Zhong from our partners at The Epoch Times.
Republican Flips Mayor’s Seat in Texas Border City, Unofficial Election Results Show
Javier Villalobos, a Republican, has won a mayor’s seat in Texas currently held by a Democrat by a small margin, according to unofficial election results.
Villalobos won the election with 4,744 votes—just over 51 percent of the total votes—leading his Democratic opponent, Veronica Vela Whitacre, by 206 votes, the results (pdf) show. Whitacre got 4,538 votes. Both candidates are currently McAllen city commissioners but serve in different districts.
Whitacre’s son, Julian Whitacre, was arrested for driving while intoxicated on May 21, two weeks before the runoff, The Valley Central reported. It’s unclear if the election results were affected by the incident.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott congratulated Villalobos for the victory.
“Javier Villalobos is a proven leader who cares deeply about the people of the Rio Grande Valley,” he wrote in a Facebook post.
The Epoch Times reached out to Whitacre’s campaign for comment.
McAllen, located at the southern tip of The Lone Star State in the Rio Grande Valley, is a hub for illegal border crossings. The city is trying hard to balance the benefit of border trade and pressure on the budget caused by the inflow of illegal immigrants. McAllen Mayor Jim Darling announced on Dec. 14, 2020, that he will not run again for election after 43 years of public service.
“I’ve served the @CityofMcAllen for 43 years and I’ve made the difficult decision to step down as Mayor.” Darling wrote in a Twitter post, “I will not seek re-election after my term expires in May. I’ve had 8 great years as Mayor of the best city in the world, in my humble opinion.”
While the candidates’ viewpoints on immigration didn’t appear to play a key role in the mayoral election, being from different parties with contrary immigration policies at the federal level, Villalobos and Whitacre hold similar views on immigrant issues.
Both said the handling of illegal immigrants is the duty of the federal government and the city should be paid for it. Both urged the border to remain open for commodity flow and border trade. Villalobos told Texas Public Radio that the border wall is a dead issue while Whitacre is doubtful about the efficacy of the border wall.
“I don’t even think it’s worth talking [about] anymore,” Villalobos said. “I know the issues we have are not really the border wall, but reconstructing the levees to protect our residents. Whether somebody was for or against, that’s honestly not an issue anymore.”
Villalobos ran on a typically Republican pro-business platform, being against higher taxes.
“Cut expenses and work efficiently and effectively, but always work carefully to hold the line on taxes,” he told Texas Border Business.
He has also believes the $15 an hour minimum wage will kill small businesses in McAllen.
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