Along with the news Saturday that Republicans had won mayoralties in Fort Worth (population: 1 million) and Arlington (population 400,000), there was a less-reported result from Texas but one with major significance — that a Republican had captured City Hall in McAllen (population: 140,000), which is roughly 85 percent Hispanic.
The contest is particularly significant. McAllen is a border city and voting came a week after a much-publicized incident in which U.S. Border Patrol agents saved several migrants from drowning in the Rio Grande as they were attempting to make it to the nearby town of Roma.
More than a few Republicans suggest that continued controversy with the Biden Administration over its border policies will help Texas become even more of a “red” state than it has been.
Following a hard-fought campaign, former Hidalgo County Republican Chairman Javier Villalobos was elected mayor of McAllen by 208 votes (51.14 percent) in a runoff against Democrat and City Commissioner Veronica Whitacre.
Like all municipal races in the Lone Star State, the race in McAllen is nonpartisan. But the partisan identities of both Villalobos and Whitacre was well-known throughout the city.
“And McAllen has elected Republican mayors and city officials in the past,” Hollis Rutledge,