District 15 Republican primary candidates make last efforts to attract voters
A total of nine Republican congressional candidates are vying for the now vacant District 15 seat.
Retired Border Patrol agent Aizar Cavazos and assistant principal Vangela Churchill are among those candidates. Although their backgrounds are different, their perspectives on issues like border security are very much the same.
Days away from March primaries, these first-time political candidates are making their last-minute efforts to convince voters that they’re the best fit for District 15’s congressional seat.
“Right now, we got a green light flashing saying, ‘We’re open, the border is wide open,'" Cavazos said. "When President Trump was there, it was a red light flashing saying, 'The border’s closed.'"
Cavazos says it’s his 25 years of experience along the border that sets him apart from other candidates. He says, compared to the ’90s, federal agents now are getting less support from Washington.
“They’re not really able to do their job right now," Cavazos said. "They’re doing duties that they weren’t trained to do. Meanwhile, the cartels are really — they got control of the entire border and nothing gets through without their authorization, and they’re making a lot of money.”
That same issue is something his opponent says is now taking a toll in the classroom.
“We have illegal immigration, we have students in our schools that are facing hunger," Churchill said. "They don’t have insurance for their medical needs, I remember trying to find somebody that would give a pair of glasses to a student.”
Whether it’s border security, the second amendment, or supporting law enforcement, the two candidates have a number of similar conservative viewpoints.
Churchill says she was inspired to run after the election of former President Trump. The long-term educator opened up about her upbringing in a cult, which she says often included abuse.
“I think that’s why education has been my calling, because I wanted to be an advocate for students who are like me,” Churchill said.
In her final thoughts, Churchill doesn’t ask for votes outright. Instead, she asks members of the public to instead do their research.
“Look at their donors, look at their history, look at their family lives, because their personal family lives will tell you a lot about the person themselves,” Churchill said.
Channel 5 News also reached out to Republican candidate John C. Lerma via email, but we have not yet heard back from him.
A representative for Monica De La Cruz, who narrowly lost against Vicente Gonzalez in 2020, said at the moment, their team is not doing any interviews and cites that they have a full schedule through the primary.
For early voting locations and other election resources, head to krgv.com/elections.