Monica De La Cruz
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 15th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2023
Preceded byVicente Gonzalez (redistricting)
Personal details
Born (1974-11-11) November 11, 1974 (age 49)
Brownsville, Texas, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse
Johnny Hernandez
(m. 2015; div. 2021)
Children2
EducationUniversity of Texas, San Antonio (BBA)
WebsiteHouse website

Monica De La Cruz (born November 11, 1974)[1] is an American politician and insurance agent from the state of Texas. She has represented Texas's 15th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2023. De La Cruz is the first Republican and first woman to represent Texas's 15th congressional district since its creation in 1903.[2][3]

Early life and career

De La Cruz graduated from James Pace Early College High School in Brownsville, Texas, and the University of Texas at San Antonio, studying marketing.[4] She later attended the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Mexico City, studying Spanish. She interned for Turner Entertainment before working for Cartoon Network Latin America.[5] Before being elected to the U.S. Congress, she was an insurance agent and business owner. De La Cruz resides in the Rio Grande Valley, where she grew up.[6][7]

U.S House of Representatives

Elections

2020

Main article: 2020 United States House of Representatives elections in Texas § District 15

In 2020, De La Cruz ran in Texas's 15th congressional district, and lost to incumbent Democrat Vicente Gonzalez by three percentage points.[8]

2022

Main article: 2022 United States House of Representatives elections in Texas § District 15

Endorsed by Donald Trump and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, De La Cruz ran again in the 15th district in 2022, while Gonzalez was redistricted to Texas's 34th congressional district. De La Cruz defeated Democratic nominee Michelle Vallejo in the general election, earning 80,869 votes to Vallejo's 67,913.[9][10][11][7][12] When she took office in 2023, she became only the eighth person to represent this district since its creation in 1903, and the first Republican. By a matter of a few months, she was the second Republican elected from a Rio Grande Valley in over a century; the first, Mayra Flores, was elected to a partial term in a neighboring district in 2022. De la Cruz is the first Republican elected to a full term in this area in modern times.

Tenure

In March 2024, De La Cruz delivered the Republican response to President Joe Biden's 2024 State of the Union Address in Spanish.[13]

Caucus memberships

Committee assignment

Political positions

De La Cruz voted to provide Israel with support following the 2023 Hamas attack on Israel.[16][17]

Personal life

De La Cruz has been married and divorced twice and has two children. De La Cruz's split from her second husband in 2021, Juan Gabriel Hernandez, resulted in an acrimonious divorce.[18][19] De La Cruz is an Episcopalian.[20]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Monica De La Cruz (TX-15) Research Report" (PDF). October 2021.
  2. ^ Herrera, Jack. Monica De La Cruz Defeats Michelle Vallejo, Flipping a South Texas Seat for the GOP, Texas Monthly, November 8, 2022.
  3. ^ Gonzalez, Valerie. Calculated move: Texas Republicans drew District 15 to fit their needs, MyRGV, November 12, 2022.
  4. ^ "Incoming Rep. Monica De La Cruz - R Texas, 15th, Member-elect - Biography | LegiStorm". www.legistorm.com. Retrieved December 22, 2022.
  5. ^ "Vote Smart | Facts For All". Vote Smart.
  6. ^ "Monica De La Cruz wins Republican primary in more competitive Texas district- AP". Reuters. March 2, 2022 – via www.reuters.com.
  7. ^ a b "Texas Republicans hope to send their first Latina to Congress". NBC News. March 9, 2022.
  8. ^ Taylor, Steve (June 5, 2022). "De La Cruz: I do not care which Democrat I face in CD 15 general election". Rio Grande Guardian.
  9. ^ Choi, Matthew (August 24, 2022). "In Texas' most competitive congressional race, neither candidate is running toward the center". The Texas Tribune.
  10. ^ Recio, Maria. "Latina candidates reshaping South Texas politics in 3 key congressional races". Austin American-Statesman.
  11. ^ Gamboa, Suzanne (October 22, 2022). "South Texas Democrats push back as Latina Republicans close in". www.nbcnews.com.
  12. ^ Neukam, Matthew Choi and Stephen (November 9, 2022). "Monica De La Cruz becomes first Republican to win in 15th Congressional District in South Texas". The Texas Tribune.
  13. ^ Wermund, Benjamin. "Rep. Monica De La Cruz to deliver GOP's Spanish-language response to State of the Union".
  14. ^ "Candidates". RMSP PAC. Retrieved December 26, 2022.
  15. ^ "Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Monetary Policy". Financial Services Committee. U.S. House of Representatives. Retrieved March 20, 2023.
  16. ^ Demirjian, Karoun (October 25, 2023). "House Declares Solidarity With Israel in First Legislation Under New Speaker". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 30, 2023.
  17. ^ Washington, U. S. Capitol Room H154; p:225-7000, DC 20515-6601 (October 25, 2023). "Roll Call 528 Roll Call 528, Bill Number: H. Res. 771, 118th Congress, 1st Session". Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives. Retrieved October 30, 2023.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  18. ^ Scherer, Michael (November 9, 2021). "Top GOP congressional candidate in Texas accused of abusing teenage daughter of estranged husband". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 22, 2022.
  19. ^ Scherer, Michael (January 12, 2022). "GOP House candidate Monica De La Cruz will be allowed to return to her Texas home in April amid legal fight with her estranged husband". Washington Post. Retrieved April 14, 2023.
  20. ^ "Religious affiliation of members of 118th Congress" (PDF). Pew Research Center. January 3, 2023.