Republicans in South Texas are planning on mounting a fight for Texas House District 34 in 2020 as South Texas businessman and community leader James Hernandez stages a campaign to unseat incumbent and attorney Abel Herrero in the politically back and forth district.

While neither party can claim solid ownership of the district, state republicans are coming off of a moderately successful legislative session and democrats are working to either gain seats and or retain what limited position they have in the state’s lower chamber and that could mean that Texas House District 34 now comes into major play.

While many feel that Herrero is the likely favorite to maintain the seat, others feel like Hernandez has the personality and support to oust the attorney from the position that he has held since 2012 when he ousted republican incumbent Connie Scott in the general election by more than 5,000 votes.

In fact, Herrero has a solid track record of handily defeating republicans in the largely Hispanic district in rural South Texas. While getting a pass in 2016 as an unopposed candidate, Herrero did manage to beat Republican Chris Hale handily by more than 5,000 votes in 2018. However, Hale flopped by being unrelatable to the district’s Hispanic base. But now things have changed in race.

Republican James Hernandez comes in with relatability, practicality and savvy. A businessman, electrician, craftsman and fighter are traits that sit well with the district’s base. Hernandez is capable of meeting the base at their level–something that the semi-rural district has never had before. And to top it off, Hernandez is not afraid to tell one what he thinks and be vocal about doing it.

While it won’t be an easy win for republicans and Hernandez, it is doable.

Herrero tends to be quiet and rarely seen outside of campaign events. Hernandez is putting himself out there for the world to see and running his campaign in the open. Hernandez needs funding and if local republicans will step up to fill that funding gap and support their candidate, the race could be theirs to have–if they really want it.

While most of the surrounding area has been deemed a GOP dominated area, House District 34 has been a toss up until Herrero came into the picture, keeping it firmly in democrat control. But for how long nobody knows. But with Hernandez being able to connect with people where Herrero just cannot, it does seem like the GOP could at least put up a fight.