McAllen is a Rio Grande River border town to roughly 150,000 people, located in a county (Hidalgo) that Joe Biden carried by roughly 17 points in the 2020 presidential election. Four years earlier, the city – which is 85% Hispanic – went for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump by 40 points.
But surprisingly, over the weekend McAllen voters elected a Republican mayor, Javier Villalobos, who defeated Democrat Veronica Vela Whitacre by about 200 votes in a runoff election. One News Now sought comment from Cathie Adams, a former chairman of the Republican Party of Texas.
"I am so excited that a Republican, the former county chairman [of the Republican Party], is the new mayor of McAllen, Texas," she responded. "This is awesome news – because what we have learned is that the people along the border are feeling the fallout from this open border, this porous border that Joe Biden has welcomed back in."
She continued, explaining that because of the border situation "they are afraid for their children's safety; they are afraid for their economy – and they know that it is best for them to have a secure border."
According to Adams, a Republican victory in Hidalgo County bodes well as the 2022 midterms approach. "I think that trend is going to continue," she predicts. "And I think that this border crisis that we have is going to be aiding the cause of people who are thinking freedom and thinking security."
Nathan Brand, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee, tweeted a similar reaction, stating: "Biden's border crisis has real world ramifications for communities across the country, especially in cities like McAllen."
While the McAllen election outcome was big news, two major Texas cities voted over the weekend to continue under GOP leadership. The city of Fort Worth, with a million-plus people, elected another Republican mayor, as did the nearby city of Arlington.