Rudy Alamillo, a political scientist, has argued that such “identity-based appeals” by non-Hispanic candidates can be quite effective. Mr. Bush won almost half of the Latino vote in his campaigns for governor and is the only presidential candidate to win with more than 40 percent of the Latino vote. Mr. Abbott won more than 40 percent of the Latino vote in Texas in 2014 and 2018.
The diverse slate of candidates running for office in Texas this year signals what the future of the Republican Party could look like. In Dallas County alone, the Republicans running for seats in the Texas State House include women, millennials, immigrants, a Black candidate and a biracial candidate. Statewide, the Republican roster isn’t nearly as diverse as the Democrats’, but it’s a notable improvement compared with recent elections.
The Hispanic candidates among them have been drawn to the Republican Party because it is more aligned with their views on religious freedom, patriotism, free enterprise, Second Amendment rights and support for law enforcement. But the candidates emphasize different issues depending on their background and the district they aim to represent.