Democrat Michelle Vallejo faces off against Trump-backed Republican Monica De La Cruz in Texas' 15th Congressional District election

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Eric Gay/AP Photo; Michelle Vallejo's campaign; Insider
  • Democrat Michelle Vallejo is running against Republican Monica De La Cruz in Texas' 15th Congressional District.

  • The 15th District is located in the Rio Grande Valley.

  • De La Cruz, who in 2020 unsuccessfully ran to represent the district, has Trump's endorsement.

Democrat Michelle Vallejo faces off against Republican Monica De La Cruz in Texas' 15th Congressional District.

Texas' 15th Congressional District candidates

Vallejo is a small business owner and co-founder of two organizations designed for community leaders and minority women in business. Most recently, she worked as an oral historian to transcribe interviews conducted with parents and children separated at the border.

After finishing second in the Democratic primary, Vallejo faced off against first-place finisher, Ruben Ramirez, in the primary runoff and narrowly defeated him — by just over 30 votes.

De La Cruz, Vallejo's opponent, is a small business owner and insurance agent. She was the Republican nominee in the 15th Congressional District in 2020 but lost in the general election to Rep. Vicente Gonzalez by just under 3 percentage points.

Gonzalez, who currently represents the 15th Congressional District, is running for reelection in the safer 34th Congressional District following Texas' redistricting process, which made the 15th District more competitive.

De La Cruz has been endorsed by President Donald Trump, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and Sen. Ted Cruz, and received over half of the vote this year in the nine-candidate Republican primary.

Voting history for Texas' 15th Congressional District

Texas' 15th Congressional District is located in the Rio Grande Valley and runs from Guadalupe County east of San Antonio to the Mexican border in Hidalgo County.

President Joe Biden had a 2 percentage point margin of victory over Trump under the district's previous boundaries in 2020. The decennial redistricting process following the 2020 Census gave Republicans an edge in the newly drawn district.

The money race

According to OpenSecrets, Vallejo has raised more than $1.9 million, spent almost $1.8 million, and has $158,000 on hand, as of October 19. Her opponent, De La Cruz, has raised more than $4.2 million, spent more than $3.6 million, and has $592,000 cash on hand.

As of late October, several dozen super PACs, national party committees, politically active nonprofits, and other non-candidate groups have together spent more than $4.4 million to advocate for or against candidates in this race, including during the race's primary phase. The National Republican Congressional Committee has alone accounted for about one-third of that spending.

What experts say

The race between Vallejo and De La Cruz is rated as "lean Republican" by Inside Elections, "likely Republican" by The Cook Political Report, and "likely Republican" by Sabato's Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

Read the original article on Business Insider