Tuesday is the first major primary day for the 2022 election cycle, and there are several races on tap that could end up being indicators for what’s in store for both parties next November when the midterm elections are held.

For the Democrats, the issue is how to stop the bleeding in South Texas, where Donald Trump and the GOP made unexpected and spectacular inroads into the Hispanic vote. The far-left radicals believe that going woke is the best way to win back Latinos. More mainstream Democrats — represented by Rep. Henry Cuellar — believe that concentrating on jobs and securing the border is the way back.

The two visions will clash in the Democratic primary when Cuellar, under investigation by the FBI, goes against Jessica Cisneros, a 28-year-old immigration attorney. Cisneros got an early endorsement from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and has the backing of the radical Justice Democrats.


The margins in several Democratically held congressional districts in the Rio Grande Valley, including the current version of the 15th District, also tightened significantly in 2020. Republican Monica De La Cruz, who came within 3 points of toppling Democratic Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, is vying for the redrawn seat this year — this time with more vocal support from Trump and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. After changes to the district lines, Gonzalez is running in the neighboring 34th District, where the turf looks more favorable to Democrats. Current Democratic Rep. Filemon Vela, who held his seat with 55% of the vote last cycle, is retiring.

Both De La Cruz and Mayra Flores, a high-profile Latina running for the GOP nomination in the 34th District, are bullish about the November general election in their districts, in part because they believe Democrats have fundamentally miscalculated the concerns that many Latino voters have about management of the southern border, the treatment of Border Patrol agents and the influx of undocumented immigrants — a central focus of their campaigns.

Republicans have a real chance of flipping another one or two seats. This is especially true if the Democrats end up replacing two of their moderate members with bug-eyed radicals.

Related: AOC Says It’s ‘Inevitable’ That Texas Will Turn Blue

Another primary to watch is incumbent GOP Attorney General Ken Paxton, who is running for reelection against Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, as well as Eva Guzman, former Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas, and Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-Texas). Since no candidate is likely to win 50% of the vote, that race should head for a runoff in May.

Paxton has been endorsed by Trump, while Bush is the son of Trump’s former rival Jeb Bush. Polls have shown Paxton ahead with Bush and Gohmert vying for the second spot. If Bush can’t even make a runoff with a Trump loyalist, we can probably say goodbye to the Bush family as a power even in Texas politics, much less on the national stage.

The final primary race of note is the race to succeed Bush at the Land Commission. The Texas Land Commission has become a cultural battlefield in recent years due to its management of the Alamo historical site.

NBC News:

The race to succeed Bush as land commissioner also is catching attention. Eight Republicans and four Democrats are seeking the job. The commissioner oversees the Alamo, a landmark of Texas’ Revolution war for independence, and cultural debates about how the history of the revolution is told — with regard to the role slavery played, according to a recent report by The Dallas Morning News — have found their way into the GOP primary.

“There will not be any reimagining of the Alamo under my watch,” state Sen. Dawn Buckingham, a leading candidate for land commissioner, told the newspaper in January.

The governor’s race will almost certainly feature GOP incumbent Greg Abbott against perennial Democratic hipster candidate Beto O’Rourke. Democrats continue to hope that their reincarnation of JFK will win a race for something someday.

Most of us will believe it when we see it.

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