RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas - Most people in South Texas have long voted reliably blue. But this election cycle, there are three conservative Latina candidates vying to transform the politics here and turn the region red.
"It's not just about Republican or Democrat. It really is about good versus evil," said Rep. Mayra Flores (R-TX) at a recent prayer breakfast in McAllen.
Maintaining that Christian values are on the line, the three GOP congressional candidates running to represent the Rio Grande Valley in the U.S. House of Representatives insisted they see a red wave barreling toward South Texas.
"So many in the community said never ever will there be a Republican elected to Congress in South Texas. That couldn't be further from the truth," said Monica De La Cruz who is running to represent congressional district 15.
While their mostly Hispanic, working-class districts tend to be socially conservative and pro-life, this border region has been a Democrat stronghold for generations.
Flores, who recently won her seat in a special election, Cassy Garcia, and Monica De La Cruz call themselves patriots who love God and country and are proud of it.
"Republican values are really Texas values. Built on faith, family, and hard work here in America," said De La Cruz.
As new polls show momentum building for the GOP, their straightforward message has gained national attention.
They often appear together at events in a show of unity. All three are standing firm against illegal immigration which is now at its highest level in history.
Flores, who represents congressional district 34, is the first Latina Republican sent by Texas to Congress. Like Garcia, she is married to a Border Patrol agent.
"Improve the legal process so people can come here and not go through trauma and abuse. America is in danger too. Our agents are focused on the humanitarian crisis and not able to stop the fentanyl coming through," said Flores.
All three candidates are running in districts once thought to be untouchable by Republicans.
As a growing number of people blame the trend for the Democrat's lurch to the left, the party's national hold on Hispanic voters appears to be loosening as well. The percentage is half of what it was a decade ago. President Biden's popularity is also plummeting with this group.
"I'm talking to the moms and dads having a hard time putting gas in their car, food on the table and I tell them don't give up hope. Go vote this November," said Garcia, who is vying to represent voters in district 28.