Nine candidates are running in the Republican primary election for Texas’ 15th Congressional District on March 1, 2022. Incumbent Vicente Gonzalez Jr. (D) is running for re-election to Congress in Texas’ 34th Congressional District. The candidates running in the primary are: Jose Aizar Cavazos, Sara Canady, Vangela Churchill, Monica De La Cruz Hernandez, Mauro Garza, Angela Juarez, Ryan Krause, John Lerma, and Steve Schmuker Jr. De La Cruz Hernandez, Garza, and Krause have received the most media attention.
If no candidate receives a majority of the vote, the top two voter-getters will compete in a runoff election on May 24.
De La Cruz Hernandez is an insurance agent from Edinburg. She was the 2020 Republican nominee in the district and lost to Gonzalez 50.5% to 47.6%. De La Cruz Hernandez was selected as a member of the National Republican Congressional Committee’s Young Guns program this cycle, which highlights candidates who meet benchmarks in fundraising, messaging, and communications. De La Cruz Hernandez’s key campaign issues include immigration policy, investments in oil and natural gas, and school choice. As of January 2022, 18 Republican members of Congress—including U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.)—had endorsed De La Cruz Hernandez.
Garza is a businessman from San Antonio. His campaign has focused on fiscal policy, border security, and funding for police and the military. Garza is primarily a self-funded candidate, who loaned his campaign $195,000 as of January 2022, according to the Federal Elections Commission. In 2020, Garza lost to Rep. Joaquin Castro (D) in Texas’ 20th Congressional District 64.7% to 33.1%. In the 2018 election cycle, Garza did not advance from an 18-candidate Republican primary in Texas’ 21st Congressional District.
Krause is a leadership and coaching development consultant from San Antonio. His campaign website highlighted firearms, border security and immigration law enforcement, and the government’s role in providing welfare benefits. As of January 2022, two members of the Guadalupe County Commission and five local business executives endorsed Krause. In 2020, Krause lost to De La Cruz Hernandez in the Republican primary runoff 76.0% to 24.0%. In the 2018 election cycle, Krause did not advance from an 18-candidate Republican primary in Texas’ 21st Congressional District.
The Republican nominee is expected to have an edge in the general election. According to The Texas Tribune, Texas’ 15th Congressional District became more favorable to Republicans as a result of redistricting. Joe Biden (D) won the district by two percentage points in the 2020 presidential election. Donald Trump (R) would have won the new district by three percentage points. As of January 2022, the three race rating outlets considered the general election to be either Lean or Tilt Republican.