HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Congressional seats are voted on every two years. The deadline to announce your intention to run for Congress in 2022 was December 13.

The primary elections for the vote in November 2022 take place in March and ValleyCentral spoke with a Republican and Democrat candidate who are hoping to win their party’s primary elections.

Texas District 15 has voted for a Democrat representative since the district was created in 1903. Monica De La Cruz, the Republican candidate for District 15 in 2020 is running again this election and she expects to see that change.

“We are going to win, we are going to turn Hidalgo red. We are coming off a very successful 2020 election where now we have name recognition,” De La Cruz said.

Republicans have focused heavy attention on Texas District 15. President Donald Trump made two visits to the region during his term. Governor Greg Abbott and Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn have also made several trips to the area. 

De La Cruz said this is part of a Republican strategy to flip the district.

“I believe the Democrats will fail in 2022 because the Democrat values are no longer aligned to the people of South Texas,” De La Cruz said.

De La Cruz said she would focus on securing the border and slowing inflation if she is elected.

Vicente Gonzalez represents District 15 right now but he has been redrawn into District 34. 

A new field of Democrat challengers has emerged including Eliza Alvarado, a former congressional aide and education advocate. Alvarado said party shouldn’t matter when representing the district.

“I’m not there to represent Brooklyn or California, I’m there to represent District 15. And as such, I need to understand what District 15 needs regardless of whether they’re Republican or Democrat,” she said.

Alvarado said her history working for the Department of Labor, as well as working for local hospitals and as an educator makes her the most well-rounded candidate.

“I have had a lot of unique experiences, and a lot of these experiences have come from thinking outside the box and understanding the needs of our community,” Alvarado said.

Alvarado said she would focus on education, health, and immigration reform if elected.