Democrats hoping to flip Texas to the blue column were stunned and surprised when President Donald Trump won the state on Election Day, but the bigger surprise was that Latinos helped keep the state Republican.
According to some reports, they voted for Trump after supporting former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in 2016 over their concerns about jobs.
Judge Joe Rathmell in Zapata County said that he had never seen so many people vote for Republican in the rural majority Latino community. He says former Vice President Joe Biden's comments against the oil industry incentivized many of those votes to flip to the Republican column.
"It's not like we're in complete agreement in what President Trump was advocating," Rathmell told KENS5-TV. "But I think in the end, from what I've been hearing, residents were really concerned about losing their jobs.
Armando Peralta told KENS5 that he voted for Trump because he believed that he was bringing more oil jobs.
"The reason I did it is because he was bringing a lot of work in the oil fields," Peralta said.
He said that he was worried that a Biden presidency might threaten those jobs.
"Hope it doesn't hurt it. I mean, everybody depends on that," Peralta explained.
Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott cited the report to support the claim that jobs had helped turn the formerly Democratic counties in south Texas into a "battleground" region in which Republicans can compete in the future.
Texas is not a battleground state--Republicans won up & down the ballot. BUT, South Texas is now a battleground re… https://t.co/bAp7R5ZEZw— Greg Abbott (@Greg Abbott) 1605208205.0
"Several historically Democratic south Texas counties with high Latino populations voted for Trump over Biden. A big issue was jobs," Abbott said.
Judge Rathmell, however, cautioned against thinking that those votes had become Republican for coming elections.
"I don't believe (I) would call it a permanent shift to the Republican Party," Rathmell explained. "Frankly, in this election, there was only one candidate, the one Republican candidate that the voters supported, which was President Trump. All the other Republican candidates lost in our county."
Here's more about the surprise Latino flip in Texas:
Democratic strongholds in south Texas instead opted for Trump over Biden in the 2020 election www.youtube.com