A Congressional race in West Texas is getting ugly: Republican U.S. Rep. Francisco "Quico" Canseco is running for re-election against Democratic State Rep. Pete Gallego, and using some scorched-earth campaign tactics.
The Canseco campaign has been sending out mailers that accuse Gallego of:
- Saying “no to God” – a reference to controversy ginned up regarding the Democratic Party’s national platform, which does indeed reference God;
- Promoting abortion for young girls – supposedly in reference to abortion-rights group NARAL’s support of Gallego, and
- Pushing for “marriage to be between man and man.”
The accompanying imagery features a picture of Jesus, a baby and two men kissing.
According to The Texas Tribune, Gallego feels Rep. Canseco has "stooped to a new low by using the face of Jesus in a mail piece highlighting the candidates' differences on social issues." Gallego said that as a Catholic, he was offended by the mailers and has demanded Rep. Canseco quit using them.
Rep. Canseco has stood by the mailers, telling the Huffington Post, "There is nothing unethical about stating facts." Gallego counters by saying Canseco's attacks are either false or wildly misinterpreted. He tells the Tribune that while he supports civil unions for same-sex couples, "I have never been in favor of gay marriage and I am not in favor of gay marriage.”
U.S. Rep. Canseco has represented Texas's 23rd congressional district since 2011. State Rep. Gallego won the Democratic primary for CD-23 earlier this year.