First Lady’s “Breakfast Tacos” Quote Part of Bigger Message Awaiting Country November 8

Illinois Democrats Take Notice by Electing Latina to Lead State Democratic Party

by John Lopez

Pictured above:  First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, Associated Press Photo

It started on July 11, in a speech in San Antonio, Texas, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden said the following, per the transcript from the White House with emphasis added:

“Raul [Yzaguirre] helped build this organization with the understanding that the diversity of this community—as distinct as the bodegas of the Bronx, as beautiful as the blossoms of Miami, and as unique as the breakfast tacos here in San Antonio—is your strength.”

The immediate context of this San Antonio speech before UnidosUS, formerly National Council of La Raza, started less than a month earlier in South Texas including San Antonio, must be fully told so all can understand why the First Lady’s speech upset Hispanics across the country, including me.

The suburban Chicagoland Daily Herald editorialized in the July 19 print edition with the following about the First Lady’s July 11 speech:

“Though she [Dr. Biden] has been roundly criticized — including, as…reported, by 11th District congressional candidate Catalina Lauf, a Woodstock Republican whose mother hails from Guatemala — one can only wonder about the uproar that might have followed such remarks from a Republican or if similarly tone-deaf comments were made about Jews, Arabs, Africans, Italians, Greeks or any other ethnic group.”

The Daily Herald article referenced in the editorial excerpt is a good place to start, and some context was added, including reaction from various groups.

Henry Cuellar

But the broader context has to do with what has been happening in South Texas, including near San Antonio where Dr. Biden’s remarks were made, since the 2020 election, including predominately Hispanic counties along the southern border voting significantly for President Trump, and multiple articles documented this event in November of 2020, including this comprehensive article from Texas Tribune including this observation from Congressman Henry Cuellar (D, TX-28):

“Aside from Hispanic heritage, most of the Rio Grande Valley and South Texas have similar demographics to Trump’s strongholds in rural communities across the country.

“It’s homogenous, deeply religious, pensively patriotic, socially conservative, and it’s hurting economically.”

Then came the electoral success of 2021 highlighted by the victory in a June 2021 mayoral runoff by Javier Villalobos to be the mayor of McAllen, Texas, which is scant miles from Mexican border in Hidalgo County.

What was remarkable about Villalobos’ election from a partisan standpoint?  Villalobos is a former chairman of the Hidalgo County Republican Party, and unlike Illinois, county party chairs in Texas are elected directly by primary voters during the primary (and primary runoff, if necessary).

Put another way, Villalobos had been on the ballot before and been successful in a Republican primary.  As a city commissioner, he took his experience to the next level and he is now the mayor of McAllen.

South Texas local media coverage of Villalobos’ election can be viewed here.

Texas Republicans’ Congressional Redistricting with two additional seats from Census 2020

With the Census 2020 reapportionment alloting Texas two new congressional districts due to population growth, Texas Republicans, who controlled all of Texas’ redistricting, went to work to capitalize on the inroads conservative values in general and Republican platform planks in particular in South Texas within the Hispanic community.

The result, the 2022 congressional remap, and the new 38-district map of Texas is below, please note the southern tip of Texas for districts from west to east, TX-28, TX-15 and TX-34:

Texas Congressional Districts 2022

The Republicans, while creating blue districts in the TX-28 and the TX-34, the middle South Texas district, TX-15, was drawn so decisively toss-up, South Texas congressional Democrats made these plans:

  • Congressman Filemon Vela (TX-34) announced he would not seek reelection in 2022 in the new TX-34, opting to go to work for a lobbying firm.
  • Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15), opted instead of running for reelection in his more competitive TX-15, for the more “safer” Democratic drawn TX-34, being vacated by Vela
  • Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) would seek reelection, and face a rematch with 2020 progressive Jessica Cisneros in the Democratic primary

Monica De La Cruz

Cassy Garcia

Republicans made their plans too, including:

  • Monica De La Cruz (TX-15), who came within 3 percentage points of upsetting Congressman Gonzalez in 2020, announcing she would run again in the more favorable TX-15
  • Mayra Flores, wife to a Customs and Border Protection agent and mother of 4 kids, decided to run in TX-34 and compete with Congressman Gonzalez
  • Casandra “Cassy” Garcia, a former field director within Senator Ted Cruz’s office and an Hispanic liaison in the Trump Administration, would challenge the Democrat primary winner in TX-28

The three Latinas competed in the March 1 Texas primary, with De La Cruz and Flores winning their nominations outright.

Garcia forced a runoff against 2020 nominee Sandra Whitten, and Garcia won the May 24 Republican primary runoff, and all 3 are on the ballot for November.

As documented previously on Illinois Family Action, Congressman Cuellar was forced into a runoff in the Democratic primary, where he emerged the nominee with a 289 vote victory.  The Cuellar district, TX-28, since March has been rated a “Toss-up” by both of the major ratings services, making the Cuellar-Garcia contest highly competitive.

Mayra Flores

Vela’s Early Exit and the June 14 Special Election of Mayra Flores to Congress

After the initial voting in the Texas primary on March 1, Congressman Vela accelarated his plans to become a lobbyist and submitted his resignation to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D, CA-12) effective at 11:59PM EDT on March 31.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) set the special election for June 14, and newly minted TX-34 Republican nominee Flores submitted her candidacy for the special election.

Since Congressman Gonzalez currently represented TX-15, and he would have to resign his seat if he won in the TX-34 in June, opted to serve out his term in the TX-15, and a Democratic placeholder candidate, former Cameron County Commissioner Dan Sanchez (D, Brownsville), filed to run in the special election along with two other candidates on the blanket, all-party special election ballot.

The special election would be based on the old map for the TX-34, which is displayed below with TX-34 highlighted:

Congressional Districts with 2010 Census Map

Flores’ media advertising did not shy away from her priorities if elected:  Faith, Family, Patriotism

“The far left are destroying the American dream.

“When I was little my family legally immigrated to America.

“They taught me conservative values:  faith, family, & hard work.

“I will not let the far left & socialist policies by the Biden Administration destroy this great country.”

Flores won the special election outright, with 51% of the special election vote over Sanchez’s 47.3% of the vote, and the other two candidates.

As Flores said in her commercials, she was born in Mexico, which makes Flores the first Mexican-born Latina to serve in the United States Congress when she was sworn-in on June 21.

The New York Times and the Left’s Use of “Latinx”

Beginning with a hit piece on July 6, The New York Times and the mainstream media attempted to paint Flores and other Republican Latinas on the ballot as “far-right Latina”, impugning the reason for Flores’ and her fellow Texans’ primary wins as a product of the “far-right”.

Mayra Flores

Flores wasted no time proving herself to be a real fighter, and where her strength comes from with this transcribed tweet from July 6:

“It amazes me that because my values are rooted in God, Family, and Country, the liberal media takes it upon themselves to attack me and label me ‘far-right’.

“But at least they used the word ‘Latina’ over their other made-up terms.

“Seguimos Adelante! [We continue forward!]”

Within an hour, Congresswoman Flores hit Twitter again:

“I won my congressional race with faith, family, & hardwork.

“The leftist media labels me an extremist because I am against their narrative & love this great country.

“No more false narratives.

“My win, is our win and I will always be a voice for the voiceless! God Family Country!”

By the evening of July 6, Flores tweeted this:

“I’m not Latinx.  I’m Latina.  And a proud one, too!

“#God #Family #Country

“#Dios #Familia #Patria”

But Congresswoman Flores’ best tweet of July 6 was her first around 8:21AM CDT, which fully shows who she is and Who drives her:

“Many people have asked me, what can we do to fix our country?  My response is always the same:



Against this backdrop, within a week of the First Lady’s visit to San Antonio for her ill-fated Taco speech, the mainstream media attempted to hijack Congresswoman Flores’ message because she wasn’t in sync with their preferred representative of Hispanic women in Congress, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D, NY-14).

Latinas Emerging Across the Country, including Illinois, running for Congress

As previously discussed, led by Congresswoman Flores, both Casandra “Cassy” Garcia (R, TX-28) and Monica De La Cruz (R, TX-15), are on the fall ticket, for Flores to hold TX-34, and for Garcia and De La Cruz to flip their respective districts.

The two South Texas Democratic incumbents seeking reelection, Henry Cuellar in TX-28 and Vicente Gonzalez seeking reelection in TX-34, are both feeling the heat.  Both Democrats voted against the Federal Assault Weapons Ban in the U.S. House on July 29, with the final margin of passage 217-213.  The ban will face certain filibuster in the Senate.

Lori Chavez-DeRemer

Yesli Vega

Latina women have emerged across the country in competitive districts, including:

  • Yesli Vega, narrowly won the winner-take-all Republican primary on June 21 to flip toss-up rated VA-07 from two-term Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger (D). Vega, of Salvadoran heritage, worked in law enforcement and currently serves as a county supervisor in Prince William County
  • Lori Chavez-DeRemer, a former mayor, won the winner-take-all Republican primary in OR-05, while progressive/leftist Jamie McLeod-Skinner unseated Congressman Ken Schrader in the Democratic primary setting up Chavez-DeRemer as the more centrist candidate in November in the toss-up district
  • Catalina Lauf won the winner-take-all IL-11 primary over 5 Republicans to challenge Congressman Bill Foster (D) in November
  • Alexis Martinez Johnson was nominated unopposed in the NM-03 Republican primary for a rematch of the 2020 open seat election against Congresswoman Teresa Leger Fernandez (D)

So thus far and counting Congresswoman Flores, seven Latinas across the country have emerged to challenge Democrat incumbents (except De La Cruz) for election in competitive districts to the United States Congress on November 8.

With remaining primaries in August, there could be as many as 9 Latinas on the fall ballot who could flip their respective districts.

Yet may the marketing, thanks to the First Lady’s inappropriate comments in San Antonio on July 11, demonstrates how both Monica De La Cruz and Cassy Garcia have taken the description, and made it their own.

Lisa Hernandez

Illinois Democrats Choosing a Latina State Chairman

Late Friday morning, as the well-reported feud between Illinois Governor JB Pritzker (D, Chicago) and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D, Springfield) reached a climax for control of the party chairmanship of the state Democratic Party.

Upon news state Senators Omar Aquino (D, Chicago), Cristina Castro (D, Elgin), Congressman Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (D, Chicago) and state Representative and congressional nominee Delia Ramirez (D, Chicago), in their roles as Democratic state central committeepersons, decided to vote for state Representative Elizabeth “Lisa” Hernandez (D, Cicero) to be the next state party chairman, Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D, Matteson) dropped out of the running.

Round 2 of control of the state Democratic Party between Pritzker and Durbin decisively won by the governor.

But in the wake of the emerging potential Latina Red Wave across the country from South Texas this fall, could the state Democrats opting for a Latina to lead the state party be purely coincidental?

In my over 4 decades in politics, I’ve learned coincidence is extremely rare in politics.

John Lopez has written about policy and elections through the McHenry County Blog since 2019 through July 2021.  He is now semi-retired, and does freelance work with analytics, as well as political candidates, emphasizing policy as the means to advance the conservative message, by engaging through policy “dog fighting”, applying discernment for winning and advancing God’s Kingdom agenda.

John’s known for getting past the talking points, the narratives, the abstracts, the platitudes and the bromides in order to discuss policy and apply Scripture to overcome unholy divisions in the local community, our state, and nation.  John has been married for over 17 years.

Follow John on Twitter: @MarcVAvelar