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For the first time in a decade, Republican mounts campaign for Texas House District 35

For the first time since 2010, a Republican is running to represent Texas House District 35.

The race will pit local pharmacist Oscar Rosa, 55, of rural Mission against state Rep. Oscar Longoria, D-La Joya.

“Don’t vote for us because we’re Republicans. I don’t want your vote just because you’re a Republican,” Rosa said Tuesday, when he opened a campaign office in Alton. “Vote for us because we agree on hard work, education, traditional values, pro-life — if you agree with those things, then we welcome your vote.”

Rosa was raised in Elsa, where his father worked for the city and managed a local tire shop.

After graduating from Edcouch-Elsa High School, where he was a top student, Rosa attended the University of Houston College of Pharmacy. Rosa worked for Lee’s Pharmacy for several years before starting his own business, Oscar’s Pharmacy, which opened stores in Rio Grande City, Mission and Alton.

“And then, after 20 years, I was turning 50 and CVS was coming into those markets,” Rosa said.

Rosa sold Oscar’s Pharmacy to CVS, studied theology and became more active in the Catholic Church. He also decided to run for District 35 — a sprawling, U-shaped district that brings together rural areas in Hidalgo County and Cameron County.


Republican candidate Oscar Rosa addresses supporters on Aug. 30, 2022, during the grand opening for his campaign office in Alton. (Photo by Dave Hendricks / The Progress Times)


District 35 starts in Sullivan City, runs east above Edinburg and heads south through the Delta. In Cameron County, the district encompasses rural areas east of Harlingen and heads south through Los Indios to the outskirts of Brownsville.

In 2020, nearly 54% of voters in District 35 supported Joe Biden against Donald Trump.

The Texas Legislature tweaked District 35 during redistricting, which added more Democrats.

In the new District 35, about 57% of voters supported Joe Biden, according to information published by the Texas Legislative Council, a nonpartisan state agency.

Money will be another major hurdle for Rosa.

Longoria had nearly $362,000 in the bank on June 30, according to his semi-annual campaign finance report filed with the Texas Ethics Commission. Rosa had about $27,000.

Rosa and other Republicans who attended the grand opening of his campaign office on Tuesday, however, said they believe the Rio Grande Valley is turning red.

Voters in the Valley, who backed Democrats for generations, are ready for change, said Alton Mayor Salvador Vela.

“I don’t think they like the way the nation is going. I don’t think they like the open borders. And they don’t like all this crap that is going on with abortion,” Vela said. “Because most of the Mexican Americans or Hispanics, they just are very conservative. That’s why Texas is not the same as California.”

As a lawmaker, Rosa wants to address the high cost of prescription drugs, lower property taxes and make Texas more business friendly.

“And stop some of this border craziness that is going on. It’s just out of control. People are being trafficked. People are being harmed. People are losing their lives on the border,” Rosa said. “And it seems like there’s no control there. I know that’s a federal issue, but at the state level we can tackle that also.”

After a decade in Austin, the incumbent hasn’t accomplished anything, Rosa said.

“I don’t doubt his efforts,” Rosa said. “I just don’t see the results.”

Longoria, meanwhile, pointed to a long list of accomplishments, which ranged from securing nearly $69 million for the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine to creating the Border Zone Fire Department program, which provided local firefighters with badly needed equipment. He also worked hand-in-hand with city governments to pay for a litany of local projects.

In Peñitas, he helped secure funding for a mobile library. In Edcouch, he helped secure funding for a community center and pool. And in La Feria, he helped secure funding for a park and library.

“I think our actions speak louder than words,” Longoria said.

Early voting starts Oct. 24 and ends Nov. 4. Election Day is Nov. 8.


  1. Javier Rodríguez on September 4, 2022 at 3:38 pm

    Republicans have created a division in our Democracy. They have become a party of one person, leader, tRump. These Republicans have not accomplished one successful bill. Just lying about Biden’s successes. They don’t care about their constituents. They care only about staying in power to destroy our countries freedoms. Be Aware if these Republicans win our freedoms will be destroyed. VOTE BLUE, They make things Done!!!🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

    • janell on September 4, 2022 at 10:18 pm

      You can GFY you lying Demonrat trash is what is ruining our country and in November your nasty Blue butts are GONE!!!!

    • Manbar on September 22, 2022 at 10:00 am

      I agree with you Republicans are doing all they can to retain power
      If it’s for the good of the people Republicans vote against the policy.
      It’s been said by Trump :if we keep the trend going no Republican will be elected.
      They have broke the law many times, and have been self-serving. Lie, cheat,steal using the media as a method to deliver false information.
      I’m normally a Republican but can’t support my party any longer..
      If Republicans are so inclined for the people, why do we have the lowest minimum wage? Why do they not support social security, they call this entitlements.
      By stopping social security, no business man will have to Match dollar for dollar to social security for the citizens..

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