“I will continue to focus on maintaining a Democratic House and Senate majority in my capacity as a member of Congress and vice chair of the Democratic National Committee, while working diligently for the people I am so grateful to represent,” Vela mentioned in an announcement.
Vela noticed his victory margin shrink in 2020, because of Trump’s surge within the area. He beat Rey Gonzalez, an underfunded challenger, with 55 p.c of the vote in 2020. He received towards that very same candidate with 60 p.c in 2018.
Trump’s sudden success with Latino voters within the Rio Grande Valley and the upcoming Texas redistricting have heightened the strain on Vela and Reps. Henry Cuellar and Vicente Gonzalez, who symbolize adjourning districts.
Each Cuellar and Gonzalez consider that Trump’s good points within the valley have been a fluke, and voters will revert again to Democrats with Trump off the poll. However Republicans are desirous to capitalize on the 2020 outcomes — and they’re going to have the ability to carve up the area in redistricting. Texas is on observe to realize two or three seats in reapportionment, which will likely be introduced subsequent month.
Vela’s seat, which spans 300 miles and contains town of Brownsville and a part of McAllen, was solidly Democratic territory earlier than 2020. Democratic presidential candidates carried it with roughly 60 p.c of the vote in 2012 and 2016, however Joe Biden obtained simply 52 p.c in 2020.
Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.) turned the first Home Democrat to announce their retirement final week. Vela’s retirement was first reported by Axios.
Sarah Ferris contributed to this report.