‘To protect the American dream’: AZ Republican wants to be state’s first Hispanic congresswoman

Congressional candidate Tanya Contreras Wheeless says she is a product of the American dream and, as a second-generation Mexican American who hopes to become the first Latina to represent Arizona in D.C., the Republican says she will defend that dream against Democrats who take “Latino support for granted.”

Born to a teen mom, the future attorney and Phoenix Suns executive started working in a local bakery for spending money at the tender age of 14 while keeping her school grades high enough to earn her an academic scholarship for college, so hard work and thinking big are two things Wheeless knows first-hand.


(Video: Fox News Digital)

A former staffer for then-Senator Martha McSally, it was the American dream that sparked her entry into politics.

“I got into the race to protect the American dream,” she told Fox News Digital. “I am a product of that. My grandmother immigrated here from Mexico as a young girl. And so I believe in the power of that.”

Wheeless’s run in Arizona’s 4th District comes at a time when multiple polls have shown Hispanics are fleeing the Democratic party in favor of more conservative, Republican policies.

In a recent call with more than two dozen Turning Point USA college chapter presidents and vice presidents, former President Donald Trump was positively giddy about the growth of the GOP under President Biden’s failed policies, stating that Hispanics are “literally cascading into the Republican Party,” American Wire reported.

Pointing to First Lady Jill Biden’s comparison of the Hispanic community to breakfast tacos, Wheeless says Democrats try to put Latinos in a “box.”

“Things like that also show where the Democrat Party is losing the support of the Latino community because we’re put into this box,” she said. “And I think this is going to be a huge wakeup call for them in November.”

Ultimately, says Wheeless, the Hispanic vote comes down to family values.

“The values that certainly were in my family growing up — and I think with many Latino families — of faith and family and freedom and entrepreneurship… are in alignment with the Republican Party,” she said. “We’re going to see a greater number of Latinos coming to the Republican Party.”

Once a banking lobbyist, Wheeless faces a fair amount of competition in Tuesday’s primary election, including a MAGA-strong veteran and businessman; a candidate who has previously made it into the general election not once, but twice; and Jerone Davison, a former NFL running back who shocked the nation with his pro-Second Amendment campaign ad, in which he brandished an AR-15 against Democratic KKK members. Along with a tweet of the ad, Davison urged voters  to “Make Rifles Great Again.”

Still, Wheeless believes her humble background and her understanding of the issues, such as inflation, that Arizonans truly care about will help her to unseat Dem. Rep. Greg Stanton.

“From a policy standpoint, I think there are some pretty significant differences between myself and the incumbent,” she said. “I want secure borders. I want less spending. I want to always have the backs of our law enforcement. These are things that he has not been a leader on in Congress, and I will be.”

Her views have already won her the endorsements of House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) and the Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC with ties to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).

“I was unhappy with the direction of our country,” Wheeless said of her desire to run for Congress. “To me, having a strong economy, having safe communities are essential. I saw what was happening under the Biden administration and with the Democrats in D.C. as not being supportive of that.”

In the end, said the candidate, voters will choose between change and the status quo.

“What voters are really going to be doing when they go to the ballot box is making a decision between change and no change,” she stated. “Do you feel like things are on the right track and life is going well for you now? Or do you want a change?”

“I think what they’re going to find is that they don’t feel like things are going great, and they’re going to be ready for a change,” Wheeless said. “And I look forward to delivering that.”

Melissa Fine

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