Republican Rep. Mayra Flores of Texas has been blocked from joining the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, which has only Democratic members.
According to reporting from Townhall, Flores tried to join the caucus in October but was rejected for membership.
Flores has been a groundbreaker in national and Texas politics because she is the first Mexican-born woman to serve in the U.S. Congress and also won her congressional seat in a traditionally Democratic region of southern Texas, the Texas Tribune reported.
Flores beat Democrats Dan Sanchez and Rene Coronado in June in a special election for Texas’ 34th district’s congressional seat. Flores won 50.91 percent of the votes while Sanchez got 43.37 percent and Coronado only got 4.16 percent.
But though Flores is Hispanic and serves as a representative for a largely Latino community on the U.S.-Mexican border, the CHC did not accept her.
“As the first Mexican-born Congresswoman to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives, I thought joining the Congressional Hispanic Caucus would be a constructive way to build bridges and work in a bipartisan manner on behalf of our constituents,” Flores told Townhall.
“I was wrong. This denial once again proves a bias towards conservative Latinas that don’t fit their narrative or ideology,” she added.
The CHC does not indicate that membership is reserved only for Democrats, but all of its 36 of its members are Democrats.
According to the CHC website, the caucus dates back to 1976 and “addresses national and international issues and crafts policies that impact the Hispanic community.”
“The function of the Caucus is to serve as a forum for the Hispanic Members of Congress to coalesce around a collective legislative agenda. The Caucus is dedicated to voicing and advancing, through the legislative process, issues affecting Hispanics in the United States, Puerto Rico and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands,” the CHC website explained.
Flores has been an outspoken Republican, even in the midst of representing the typically Democratic 34th Congressional District of Texas.
“I’m conservative and have strong values, and that’s why we were successful in the special election,” Flores said, as the Texas Tribune reported in July.
Other Republicans see Flores’ win in Texas as a new opening for the party to make inroads among America’s Hispanic communities and border regions.
“She is the beacon of hope right now,” said Adrienne Peña-Garza, the Republican Hidalgo County chair, the Tribune reported.
“The fact that a Republican won in one of the most Hispanic districts in America is, you know, it’s game changing, regardless of the circumstances,” Mike Madrid, a Republican political consultant, told Time.
But since Flores won her seat in a special election, she is having to fight for it once again in the November midterms.
With the elections coming in just a few weeks, the tight race between Flores and Democratic Rep. Vicente Gonzalez is being watched closely, Time reported.
Gonzalez has been representing Texas’ 15th district, which border’s Flores’ 34th district, since 2017.
So Flores’ rejection from the CHC came at a very crucial time as she fights for her congressional seat.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.