In Texas, there is a showdown between Democrats and Republicans in the 34th Congressional District. In the most recent skirmish, a political blogger who was paid by the Democrat opponent for “advertising services” offensively called the Latina Republican “Miss Frijoles” and a “cotton-pickin’ liar.”
The attacks against Rep. Mayra Flores have prompted a wave of denunciations by fellow Democrats, NBC News reported.
Flores blamed Democratic Rep. Vicente Gonzalez for the attacks by Jerry McHale, who writes the political blog the McHale Report.
“My far left opponent, Vincent Gonzalez, hired a local blogger to run hateful & racist ads against me!” Flores tweeted.
My far left opponent, Vincent Gonzalez, hired a local blogger to run hateful & racist ads against me!
But, I love frijoles & I grew up eating frijoles. I am not embarrassed of my upbringings & frijoles w/tortillas de harina is simply the best. Here’s to Miss Frijoles 2022 #TX34 pic.twitter.com/7z5SRGCfUv
— Mayra Flores (@MayraFlores2022) July 18, 2022
The language used against Flores surfaced just three days after Gonzalez’s campaign wrote a check for $1,200 to the McHale Report blog on June 24 for “advertising services,” NBC reported.
However, both the blogger, Jerry McHale, and Gonzalez deny that the Democratic representative’s campaign specifically paid McHale to attack Flores.
“They both told NBC News that the timing of the attacks [was] coincidental, that the congressman didn’t pay for any of the inflammatory posts, know about them or have any control over them,” NBC reported.
“Of course, the congressman is against referring to Rep. Flores as ‘Miss Frijoles’ or a ‘cotton-picking liar,’” Gonzalez’s campaign manager, Collin Steele, wrote in a text message to NBC News.
The Democratic Party Chair and other Texas Democrats had previously denounced the language used.
However, blogger McHale did not back down from his decision to attack Flores.
“I am a liberal Democrat. And it’s war against the Republican … I’m going to be merciless with her,” he told NBC News.
The 34th Congressional District in Texas is a hotly contested region. The majority Hispanic district runs along the Texas-Mexico border and “has become a national proving ground for GOP outreach to Hispanic voters,” NBC reported.
Flores won the seat in a special election on June 13 after Rep. Filemon Vela, a Democrat, unexpectedly left the seat and joined a law firm that lobbies in Washington, the Texas Tribune reported.
Flores is the first congresswoman born in Mexico. She and her district have been closely watched.
Previously, former President Donald Trump improved his margins in the 34th district in 2020, compared to his 2016 numbers, according to NBC.
But Trump still lost the 34th Congressional District and Democrats have said that Flores only won the special election because the Democratic party didn’t want to spend much money on contesting her election, NBC reported.
However, Gonzalez decided to challenge Flores, as his seat is in the 15th Congressional District, which has become more Republican-leaning after the district was redrawn by the GOP-led Legislature during redistricting.
Gonzalez has been hard on Flores since she took her seat, particularly criticizing the fact that she was born in Mexico.
“I believe in God, I’m a Catholic, I come from a patriotic family. I wasn’t born in Mexico, I was born in South Texas, the son of a Korean war veteran,” Gonzalez told Newsweek a week after Flores was elected. “I didn’t come here through chain migration, I didn’t come through asylum or amnesty or whatever.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.