In what may turn out to be a harbinger, the 85% Hispanic border town of McAllen, Texas, has elected a Republican mayor.
President Biden won Hidalgo County by nearly 17 points last November, noted the Legal Insurrection blog, but Javier Villalobos defeated Veronica Whitacre in the June 5 runoff election.
Local KVEO-TV reported the Republican garnered 4,744 votes to Whitacre’s 4,538 votes, collecting 51.11% of the total.
Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott celebrated the win in a Facebook post.
“Javier Villalobos is a proven leader who cares deeply about the people of the Rio Grande Valley. Congratulations on becoming the next Mayor of McAllen!”
Former Trump 2020 campaign adviser Steve Cortes said the win was part of a “macro realignment” in which Hispanics in South Texas are leaving the Democratic Party to align with former President Trump’s working-class, populist movement.
“Amazing news! McAllen, Texas is a major border town of 140,000 people. 85% Hispanic — and just elected a Republican mayor,” he wrote on Twitter. “The macro realignment accelerates in South Texas, and elsewhere, as Hispanics rally to America First.”
During his campaign, Villalobos declared he was not “afraid to make the tough decisions that have to be made” on illegal immigration.
“It is a federal issue like was before, and that should not be imposed on our municipality,” he said.
“We cannot spend our tax dollars to solve a chaos that the federal government is already brewing up.”
He clarified that he has nothing “against immigrants; however, I am responsible for McAllen taxpayer’s money.”
“It is important to consider the ramifications of the federal government’s actions,” he said.
Villalobos said immigration “is not an issue that we deal with for or against. Public safety is and we must always make sure our citizens are safe.”
Holy cow… Republicans just flipped the mayorship of McAllen, Texas.
This was not expected and shows Hispanics in South Texas may have shifted with the GOP even post Trumphttps://t.co/bFOMpNcNrS
— Ryan James Girdusky (@RyanGirdusky) June 6, 2021
See an interview with the new mayor: