Republican Mayra Flores Is Keeping the Faith in Congress

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Mayra Flores (R-Texas), whose political Cinderella story made her the first Mexican-born woman to serve in Congress, isn’t feeling any love from the Left.

Flores ran on a conservative platform of God, family, and country, in a special election to flip Texas District 34 red for the first time in more than a century.

On July 6, the New York Times labeled her and two other South Texas Latina candidates as far-Right.

“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!” Flores said in a statement posted on Twitter.

The newspaper highlighted social media posts asserting Flores’ belief that Donald Trump had won in 2020 and President Joe Biden should be impeached.

The article questioned her use of QAnon hashtags in the past. It noted her pro-life conservative views and that her pastor appeared at her swearing-in.

Flores has denied any connection with QAnon and told the New York Times she intended to oppose the group, which believes Democrats are Satan-worshiping, cannibalistic pedophiles.

Flores has brushed off the criticism and is sticking to her platform, where she openly embraces, “Make America Godly Again.”

Epoch Times Photo
San Benito TX—Mayra Flores (R) wins in the Texas 34th Congressional District special election June 14, 2022. (Photo by Bobby Sanchez for The Epoch Times.)

It is key to understanding how Flores’ path took her from the cotton fields of Texas to the halls of Congress.

She told The Epoch Times that her faith became the driving force behind her decision to run for Congress, although she had little political experience.

“It played the biggest role for me,” she told The Epoch Times. “I feel our values are being lost. So for me it was really about God.”

Flores wants to “take Jesus to Congress” and believes people need to stand up and not fear criticism for their faith. She believes people are hungry to hear about God and wants to see prayer put back into the classroom.

“We are in so much of a mess because we have put God aside,” she said.

Flores, of Harlingen, Texas, won a special election in the heavily Hispanic Rio Grande Valley, taking 51 percent of the vote, while her main Democratic rival, Dan Sanchez, received 43 percent.

She will finish the term of U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela (D-Brownsville), who resigned to work for Akin Gump, a Washington D.C. law and lobbying firm.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) called for a special election to fill the vacancy left by Vela.

Flores hopes to win a full term in Congress in November by defeating moderate Democrat Vicente Gonzalez, who is switching districts because the Republican-led Texas Legislature redrew the South Texas voter map, moving his McAllen home from District 15 into District 34.

But the midterm election stands to be a more challenging race for Flores, given that the redrawn Congressional District 34 is much more favorable for a Democratic win.

Gonzalez is running on some popular Democratic themes, such as free college and pre-K.

He is more moderate on border issues. He supports “compassionate” immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship but remains committed to the health and safety of the people he is sworn to represent.

As a Catholic, Gonzalez said he’s pro-life but believes in the separation of church and state, according to an article in The Hill. Gonzalez’s campaign has not responded to a request for an interview.

Flores’ celebrity status as a Latina Republican has Democrats pushing back and vowing to put the muscle of their political machine to work flipping the seat back to blue.

Gonzalez recently told Newsweek Flores was an “unqualified” opponent and a pawn of the Republican Party.

But Flores is keeping the faith—literally. From the beginning, she has turned to City Church in Harlingen and pastor Luis Cabrera for support.

Epoch Times Photo
Pastor Luis Cabrera gives a special blessing to Mayra Flores (C), and her husband (L) using a Tallit, a Jewish prayer shawl, during a get out the vote rally at City Church Harlingen. (Bobby Sanchez/The Epoch Times)

So, it stands to reason Cabrera became a major player in her decision to run for office. Eventually, the church would serve as her headquarters.

Cabrera told The Epoch Times he met Flores during the Trump train rallies in South Texas in 2020. His group set up a tent and prayed for the participants. Flores started attending his church, and on Easter of 2021, Cabrera baptized her.

He remembers the day Flores told him she was running for Congress and wanted him to be her campaign manager. He told her he couldn’t take the job but ended up accompanying Flores on the campaign trail to pray for her and volunteers.

Cabrera had been preaching that America needed to be Godly again and was happy that Flores carried the mantle into her campaign. It dawned on him that electing candidates of faith was a way of returning the country to God.

Throughout her campaign, people tried to talk her out of using God in her platform, but she stood firm, he said.

At one point, Flores was doubtful about her prospects in the new District 34, which is heavily Democratic. The Biblical story of David and Goliath came to mind, Cabrara said, and saw her through that time of uncertainty.

Cabrera said churches and Christians across the country need to get involved in politics. He said millions of Christian voters didn’t turn out in 2020.

Cabrera said the crowning moment of his venture into politics was when he stood on the stage when Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) swore in Flores.

“I shook her hand and said,’ Madam Speaker, we’re going to take this country back for God.’ And her reaction was priceless. She didn’t know what to say,” Cabrera said.

Darlene McCormick Sanchez

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