Rep. Vicente Gonzalez ousts Republican Rep. Mayra Flores from Congress in narrow win
TIJUANA, Mexico – Former Rep. Vicente Gonzalez says he has defeated Republican Rep. Mayra Flores in the nation’s first congressional runoff in a decade, ending a four-term streak of female Republican congresswomen who are Democrats.
A runoff election was scheduled after incumbent Gonzalez failed to beat Flores in the Nov. 20 congressional primary.
Gonzalez, a former state lawmaker, has garnered support from the majority of voters in the largely suburban and conservative Tijuana area, making it difficult for Flores to win the district’s conservative base while not alienating women voters in what is considered a safe Democratic district.
Gonzalez defeated Flores in the primary by a margin of almost 8 percentage points, according to unofficial results.
In the runoff, Gonzalez will face former Rep. Ramón Gallegos, a former governor of Colima, and an ex-officio member of Congress who had once been a candidate for the party’s presidential slate.
Gonzalez has been a vocal defender against President Donald Trump, calling the Republican nominee an “absolute fraud” and denouncing a ban on Mexican immigrants from seven majority-Muslim countries.
In a statement, Gonzalez noted that his campaign focused entirely on a local economic recovery and working class agenda and he called the campaign “very hard.”
“We have been able to turn a lot of our base into a voting block. We have had to work very hard to mobilize our voters and make sure we have a strong vote,” Gonzalez said.
He added that he would continue to work in Tijuana and other counties to build bridges between political parties while seeking to work together with all parties to get the job done.
But Flores has portrayed Gonzalez’ victory as an attempt by conservatives to take over the seat represented by Democrats for decades.
“The Hispanic vote is the key to defeating