A Republican rise

Even those shows of support are signs of the GOP’s growth, said Alfredo “Freddy” Arellano III, a local party activist. In 2018, when former state Sen. Pete Flores was running in a special election that he would eventually win, voters would not put campaign signs in their yards for fear of being ostracized for being Republicans. But since 2020, when Arellano served as the chair of the local GOP and organized caravans of trucks called “Trump trains” to show support for the former president, interest in the party has gone up.

Border Democrats

Carla Astudillo contributed to this report.