Republicans welcomed a new rising star to the tent after Tuesday’s special election for Texas’ 34th Congressional District — as well as a high-profile and first-time GOP voter.
Mayra Flores carried the vote in the special election to represent a heavily Hispanic district that has been almost completely in Democrats’ grasp for decades. The previous representative bolted to work for a lobbying organization, creating the need to fill their remaining term.
The Tesla CEO tweeted early Wednesday morning that he cast his ballot for Flores, declaring it the “first time I ever voted Republican.”
The billionaire entrepreneur added “massive red wave in 2022.”
Flores responded with a happy “Welcome to the Republican Party!” She declared that the GOP’s welcome extends to “all walk aways from all walks of life.” The historic winner described it as the “party of opportunity, prosperity, and freedom.”
Flores was brought to the U.S. as a child by her parents and is married to a Border Patrol agent. She said in one of her TV ads that the border region is under attack. National Democrats believe that due to new district lines they have the advantage over Tuesday’s winner come November.
But her campaign was enough to draw the attention and vote of Musk, who finds himself on new political ground.
In a Twitter exchange with the Tesla Owners Silicon Valley account, Musk was asked if his vote for Flores will be followed by another for the GOP presidential candidate in 2024. He replied “tbd.”
But when asked which direction he is leaning towards, his response was “DeSantis.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is a longtime ally of former President Donald Trump and considered a front-runner for the GOP in 2024. Especially if Trump decides against another run for the White House.
Musk previously supported Democratic candidate Andrew Yang and had voted for former President Barack Obama. He said those votes were because Democrats “were (mostly) the kindness party.”
Now, he said, they are the “party of division and hate.”
Part of the reason for Musk’s enlightenment, and understandably so, is President Joe Biden’s reluctance to recognize automotive leadership and innovation from non-union companies. This stubbornness, along with a healthy dose of pettiness and short-sightedness, may be costly this fall.