In Texas, an Emerging Problem for Democrats on the Border

first_imgMr. Trump defeated Joseph R. Biden Jr. in Texas, winning a more narrow victory than he had in 2016 but winning nonetheless. Senator John Cornyn, a Republican, won re-election. Wendy Davis lost again, one of several Democrats who tried and failed to grab Republican-controlled congressional seats. A push to flip the Texas House foundered, as Republicans held on to their majority. – Advertisement – Many residents in this part of Texas have strong Christian, anti-abortion, pro-gun and back-the-blue views that put them more in line with conservatives than liberals, and in Zapata, there is a strong sense among his supporters that Mr. Trump will bring jobs to the economically struggling region.In a brief exchange during the final presidential debate, Mr. Biden had said he would “transition from the oil industry” because of its pollution, a remark that did not go unnoticed by Zapata residents, including Yvette Gutierrez De Leon, 56, who is a secretary for an oil-field services company and who voted for Mr. Trump.“At the end of the day, in the little bit of oil field that is still left, if it goes away tomorrow our county will go away,” Ms. De Leon said. “Oil is all we have here.”Isela Gonzalez-Lindquist, 42, a saleswoman at a Laredo mattress store, said she voted for Mr. Trump even though she was opposed to his plans to extend the border wall in the area, because she believed it would hurt wildlife and infringe on the rights of property owners.“I want to convey that he is not perfect and we know that, but he is the best candidate for the job,” she said. “I like Trump’s grit and that he’s not a career politician.”James Dobbins reported from Zapata, and Manny Fernandez from Houston. David Montgomery contributed reporting from Austin, Texas. ZAPATA, Texas — Democrats spent years focusing on how they could finally win Texas. But since Tuesday’s election, they have been wrestling with a more pressing question: How did they lose Zapata County?In the reliably Democratic and majority-Hispanic stronghold of South Texas, Zapata County, population 14,179, had never been a political bellwether. It is a largely rural border community on a narrow stretch of the Rio Grande between Laredo and McAllen, home to oil-field workers and one of the highest poverty rates in Texas.- Advertisement – Mitt Romney lost Zapata County in 2012 by 43 percentage points. Donald J. Trump lost it in 2016 by 33. Ted Cruz lost it in 2018 by 26. On Tuesday, President Trump reversed many years of political history, including his own, and won Zapata County by 5 percentage points. “Why should I apologize for it? I’m not going to apologize anymore. Just because the president wants people to come into the country the right way, it doesn’t make him a racist. He’s not a racist and neither am I.”- Advertisement – Mexican-American families have called Brownsville, McAllen, Edinburg and other Rio Grande Valley cities home not for years but for generations. They identify with their Mexican roots just across the river but identify just as strongly with America. At the formal southern line of the nation, patriotism intensifies, and many an American flag waves in yards and on porches. Young Mexican-American men and women eagerly sign up to become Border Patrol agents. Often, their older relatives and neighbors worked for Border Patrol, and they are proud to do so, too, ignoring the perception of the agency among immigrant families elsewhere in the country. Many Trump voters in Zapata know one another, and they have formed an unofficial booster club and support group. It includes Ricardo Ramirez, 51, the president of a local bank branch, and Jack Moore, 45, an oil-field construction worker who said the Democrats of 50 years ago “are not the same Democrats today.”center_img These working-class and middle-class Mexican-Americans feel compassion for the Central American migrants who have been flooding the border off and on since 2014. Volunteering at migrant shelters and donating clothes and food have become Valley traditions. But many view those migrants as outsiders. The Hispanic migrant in a shelter and the Hispanic longtime Valley resident are culturally and economically disconnected. Texas is more politically and culturally complex than any one poll or election can capture. There were Houston oil-and-gas workers who voted for Mr. Trump, but many in the industry voted for Mr. Biden. There were longtime Democrats who, on the same ballot, voted for Mr. Biden and Mr. Cornyn. The president may have won Zapata County, but Mr. Cornyn lost it.If there is any one force determining how Texans vote, it is neither party nor politics. It is something that resists party labels but has helped transform Texas from a place to a cause — an ideology disguised as a brand disguised as a state. It is a cliché to say Texas is filled with mavericks, but the whole notion of mavericks belongs uniquely to Texas — the word comes from the surname of a Texas rancher and lawyer who left his calves unbranded in the late 1800s, Samuel A. Maverick.At first glance, Mr. Biden’s support in most of South Texas appears solid. He carried all four of the counties that make up the Rio Grande Valley region, next door to Zapata County. But a closer look reveals the emerging Democratic challenge on the border. Mr. Trump broadened his support in all four, plus in other border counties. In one of those communities, rural Starr County, Mrs. Clinton won in 2016 by 60 percentage points. On Tuesday, Mr. Biden carried it by just five.South Texas has long been a place where a lot of people are politically liberal but culturally conservative. The flipping of Zapata County was one of many Republican victories in a state that Mr. Trump carried. But it stunned Democrats and reflected their enduring struggle in the country’s largest conservative-led state. Not only do Democrats have a problem surging forward, they may be going backward in places.“When I was running, I’d get 85 percent in Zapata County — and Trump carried it,” said Garry Mauro, 72, a Democrat and former state land commissioner who was the chairman of the Hillary Clinton campaign in Texas in 2016. “The idea that Trump, who has been so overtly racist about Hispanics in particular, was able to do so well has got to be a failure of our party not having a message.”In the postelection aftermath, a changing Texas remained largely unchanged.- Advertisement – Updated Nov. 7, 2020, 4:37 a.m. ET “When I would tell people I helped a friend sell air fresheners in the shape of Trump’s head, I would apologize because I supported Trump,” said Anna Holcomb, 55, a Latina and former oil-field administrative assistant who lives in Zapata, the county seat. Mr. Trump’s support in that context was not surprising.“I believe that many Mexican-Americans who ordinarily vote Democratic are attracted to his personality,” said State Senator Judith Zaffirini, a Democrat who is Mexican-American and whose district includes Zapata County. “He’s very strong here. I don’t find him appealing but I’m fascinated by his appeal to so many Texans.”The town of Zapata lies along five traffic lights on Highway 83.Halloween decorations, hay bales and pumpkins were still up on a highway plaza in the aftermath of the election this week. Payday loan, auto parts and pawn shops outnumber gas stations and restaurants. The gentle western slope down to the Rio Grande gives residents spectacular sunsets and views of Mexico. In town and on the more rural roads around the county, where Border Patrol agents can be seen on hilltops gazing through binoculars across the river, there were an equal number of Trump signs and Biden signs.Two of the few orchestrated Trump events in Zapata happened in September, when stickers and signs were handed out at a local restaurant and a “Trump Train” caravan rode through town.But they did not draw huge crowds, and even now, some people who supported him said they feared retaliation for speaking out.last_img read more

Sweden sweats it out

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Have a Marvel-ous time at Sunrise ComicCon!

first_imgThe first-ever Sunrise ComicCon will take place this Sunday, August 12, from noon to 7:00 p.m. at the Sunrise Civic Center (10610 West Oakland Park Boulevard). Fans of super heroes, sci-fi and fantasy are invited to take part in this family-friendly event. Highlights include:Cosplay ContestArtists & AuthorsPanels & DemosFood TrucksVendors60+ Open-Play Gaming SystemsSuper Smash Bros. 4 for Wii U Tournament ($5 player fee)Special Guests:“Epic Voice Guy” Jon BaileyComics legend Allen BellmanCracked publisher Captain CartoonArtist, Author and Animator SilverbackVisit for a complete schedule and vendor list. Save big by reserving your spot early! Tickets are $10 in advance and $20 at the door. Call (954) 747-4646 or visit If you do wait ‘til Sunday to purchase your tickets, bring cash ($20 bills or smaller) to experience the shortest wait time. Small-bill cash purchases can be made at booths 213, 226, and 242. Credit card (Visa/MC/Discover/Amex) and large-bill ($50 or greater) ticket purchases must be made at the Box Office. Bought online and need to pick up a wrist band? Head to booth 213, 226, or 242!Sunrise ComicCon is sponsored by Supercon, Loot Comics & Games, Random Ramblings Productions, and Silverback.last_img read more

Wednesday May 22nd Local Sports

first_imgANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Marwin Gonzalez homered and drove in three runs as the Minnesota Twins rallied for an 8-3 victory over the Los Angeles Angels. Gonzalez’s two-run shot in the sixth tied the game at three. AL batting leader Jorge Polanco and Eddie Rosario each had two hits and drove in two runs for the Twins, who have won five of six on their road trip. The teams wrap up their series tonight — pre-game at 7:30, first pitch just after 8:05 on AM-1300 KGLO. IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa point guard Jordan Bohannon is out indefinitely with a hip injury that could put his senior season in jeopardy.The Hawkeyes say Bohannon, who suffered the previously undisclosed injury early in 2018-19, will undergo surgery Wednesday in Iowa City.Bohannon ranked third on the team with 11.6 points per game as a junior last season, and he led the Big Ten in free throw shooting percentage.Iowa said Bohannon was able to manage the injury last season and he had hoped the rest and rehabilitation would heal it. But Bohannon ultimately decided on surgery, and Iowa says it’ll reevaluate Bohannon throughout the summer and fall. PLYMOUTH, Ind. – NIACC sophomore Ben Boerjan shot an 80 Tuesday on the opening day of the four-round NJCAA Division II national tournament at Swan Lake Resort.The tournament had a three-hour rain delay Tuesday morning.Boerjan, who placed 43rd at last year’s national tournament, parred the first three holes once the tournament started.The second round of the tournament is set for Wednesday and some golfers will have to finish their first round on Wednesday. OMAHA — The Iowa Hawkeye baseball team opens the Big Ten Tournament in Omaha this afternoon by playing regular season champion Indiana. The eighth seeded Hawkeyes were swept by the top seeded Hoosiers to open Big Ten play.That’s Iowa coach Rick Heller. The Hawkeyes dropped their final five Big Ten games and Heller says most of their problems have been pitching.Heller hopes the spacious dimensions of TD Ameritrade Park is an advantage against the Big Ten’s top hitting team in Indiana.The Hawkeyes finished the regular season 30-22.center_img AMES — Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard did not want sports betting to become legalized in the state but he can accept several aspects of the new law. Governor Kim Reynolds signed a bill which will allow Iowans to legally wager on things like Cyclone football games beginning next season.Pollard likes the fact the new law prevents bets on individual players.Pollard says he knew it was only of matter of time until sports betting became a reality in Iowa.A United States Supreme Court decision last year allowed states and other governmental bodies the right to authorize sports betting. IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The University of Iowa is paying an outside lawyer $280 per hour to investigate unspecified NCAA violations in its women’s volleyball program.A letter released Tuesday shows the university hired the law firm Bond, Schoeneck & King on May 4 for “review, evaluation and counsel regarding potential NCAA rules violations.”Attorney Jason Montgomery in the firm’s Overland Park, Kansas, office is the primary lawyer and billing $280 per hour. Other attorneys and paralegals charging between $140 and $445 per hour may also be assigned work.Athletic director Gary Barta reported what he called serious rules violations to the NCAA on Monday. He also put coach Bond Shymansky on leave in accordance with his contract, which requires a 30-day written notice before the university could fire him for cause.Shymansky’s contract runs through the 2022 season and pays him a base salary of $215,000.If Shymansky is fired without cause, the university would have to pay him $600,000. But if he resigns before July 1, he would be required to pay $300,000 in damages to Iowa.last_img read more