A recount in Texas has confirmed Democrat Michelle Vallejo as her party’s nominee for a new congressional district that Republicans are aggressively targeting in November as they show new strength with Hispanic voters along the US-Mexico border .

Vallejo defeated Ruben Ramirez by 35 votes, according to the results of a recount announced Friday by the Texas Democratic Party. Ramirez had called for the recount after just 20 votes in the May 24 runoff.

FILE: Democratic congressional candidate Michelle Vallejo of Texas.

Michelle Vallejo campaign website

The Associated Press had yet to call the race, pending the outcome of the recount.

Vallejo’s victory sets up a significant test this fall for the progressive Democrats who backed her in the 15th Congressional District, one of two new U.S. House seats awarded to surging Texas after a decade of explosive growth driven by new Latino residents.

Vallejo supporters on the party’s left flank, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and the Congressional Progressive Caucus. She will face Republican Monica De La Cruz, who won the GOP nomination.

For decades, South Texas has been a Democratic stronghold where Republicans have made little effort and even struggled to find candidates. But that’s changing fast after several border counties showed big swings toward former President Donald Trump in the 2020 election.

The GOP already scored a victory in South Texas earlier this month when Republican Mayra Flores won a special election to fill the remaining term of former Democratic Rep. Filemon Vela, who left Congress early to take office. of a lobbyist.