A political blogger paid by Democratic Texas Rep. Vicente Gonzalez to run campaign ads hurled racial slurs at Gonzalez’s Republican opponent, Rep. Mayra Flores, including “Miss Frijoles” and “Princess Pozole.” , NBC News reported on Tuesday.
Gonzalez, who currently represents Texas’ newly redrawn 15th congressional district, is running in the 34th district to unseat Flores, who won a special election in June to replace retired Democratic Rep. Filemon Vela Jr. and is the first congresswoman of Mexican descent in United States History.
“I’ve been known to give people nicknames,” Texas blogger Jerry McHale, who runs The McHale Report, told Latino Rebels.
The “nicknames” began appearing on McHale’s blog three days after Rep. Gonzalez’s campaign paid the site $1,200 on June 24 for “advertising services,” according to a financial report submitted to the Federal Election Commission by the González campaign.
On Monday, Flores called Gonzalez on Twittersaying he “hired a local blogger to run hateful and racist ads against [her].”
My far-left opponent, Vincent Gonzalez, hired a local blogger to run hateful and racist ads against me!
— Mayra Flores (@MayraFlores2022) July 18, 2022
McHale, who identifies as a liberal Democrat and describes himself as the ‘Rush Limbaugh of the left,’ told Latino Rebels he’s been ‘blasting’ Flores since March and that Gonzalez hasn’t paid any of the positions against Flores. .
“It was unfortunate. My campaign advertises on all kinds of networks and platforms, and we have no influence over the content,” Gonzalez told Latino Rebels.
“I clearly condemn what was said, no different than I condemn Donald Trump for saying that Mexico doesn’t send the best and sends rapists and murderers,” he said. he added. “It’s equally offensive to me.”
While Rep. Gonzalez may not be willing to embrace Trump’s vitriolic strategy, McHale is.
“On this blog, we pledge to defeat all Republicans,” McHale wrote on Tuesday. “If we are to implement some of former President Donald ‘Duck’ Trump’s tactics to achieve our ends, we will not hesitate to follow his tactics.”
“We never advertise with this type of band,” Gonzalez said. “I don’t advertise with Fox Network. I hope my opponent can also condemn Donald Trump for the same type of comments he made, which were in fact much more egregious.
McHale insists that the stories posted on his blog are separate from any paid advertising service he provides to contestants.
“I run their publicity and then I write my stories,” he said.
Gonzalez told Latino Rebels he asked McHale for a refund. McHale told Latino Rebels he plans to return the money.
Flores avoided answering questions in person on Capitol Hill regarding McHale’s insults.
When reached for comment, Congressional Hispanic Caucus communications director Sebastian Roa said, “We don’t comment on campaign issues.”
The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials said it does not typically comment on such incidents, but has responded to other requests for comment.
“Racial and ethnic slurs against Latinos — whether elected officials, candidates for office, or our neighbors — have no place in any speech,” said Arturo Vargas, CEO of the National Association of Elected and Appointed Latinos, said in a statement sent to the Latino Rebels. “Such bigoted rhetoric is never acceptable.”
Pablo Manríquez contributed to this report.
Chantal Vaca is a summer correspondent for Futuro Media based in New York and a graduate of Columbia University School of Journalism. Twitter: @VacaChantal