The Reality of Flipping a County
ALICE, Texas – For over one hundred years, the Democratic Party ran Jim Wells County. This rural county, located in the center of South Texas, is a diamond in the rough because of its strong ties to the oil and gas industry.
A local group recently decided to take on a challenge that most dismissed as a pipedream: beginning a grassroots movement that would shift the political game and transition the ideals of a small-town community into the realization of leadership that reflected them. After asking for help from the surrounding communities, it became a question of how a few people – scattered yet networked – could change the legacy of the central hub of Texas.
These hard-working Republicans built their movement and created a plan of action that they freely shared with other local leaders and hopeful candidates in the area. They established a local party that kept one goal in focus: to improve the lives of all the people in Jim Wells, and to show that anyone could and should run for public office…not just those that were “born into it.” Jim Wells County was one of only two counties in Texas in the 2020 Presidential Election that flipped hard from Democrat to Republican– Zapata County was the other. Jim Wells also helped make a monumental change by once again voting Republican for the Special Election for Texas Congressional District 34 to elect Mayra Flores and thus created a national impact.
Given how the election cycles from 2018 through the present have transpired, and considering how Jim Wells’ influence has had a profound impact with a progressively further reach, it seems that other rural counties have taken notice and begun their own transformations that actually reflect their constituents and honest values. Republican candidates are blossoming in almost every race for public office where there had been no meaningful contest for the previous century.
Now, these small local parties that have already accomplished so much are finding themselves in need of help due to the effects and perceptions of the media. Poll data shows an increase in voter turnout because of a right-leading walkaway movement and the subsequent flipping of political affiliations, but the narrative constantly presented in most mainstream media is dismissive or deceitful regarding this trend.
There is another case that will not be front and center but is vitally important: that of the individual left-leaning voters who still believe in their Democratic party platforms, yet for the first time in an upcoming general election, will have a serious choice to make. There are many that will see the Republican candidate that had never before stood at the podium, and will understand that affiliation does not mutually exclude a candidate from being the best person for the job. These individuals will, more and more frequently, become supporters of Republican candidates for the first time.
Keep an eye and ear out for what is happening in your local community. Shifts are triggering more than ever. The results show the changes in who is running for – and winning – local office and the embracing of the opportunity to run for those offices by newcomers who want to help improve their communities. Old-fashioned and defunct political practices are being finally exposed and expunged, and disappointments on both sides of the aisle are being expelled. If you are not seeing this happen, make sure you are registered to vote by October 10th so that you can begin your own movement.
If you are in Texas, you can visit VOTETEXAS.GOV to update your status or contact your local county election administration to learn more. Voice your choice and be a voice for your community.