Congressional race reaches fire and brimstone temperatures
By ALBERTO TOMAS HALPERN
FAR WEST TEXAS, SAN ANTONIO – The hotly contested race for Texas’ congressional district 23 between Republican Congressman Francisco “Quico” Canseco and his Democratic rival, State Representative Pete Gallego, has reached a boiling point.
Last week, Canseco’s campaign released bilingual mailers to voters titled, “A man is known by the company he keeps.” In the political flyer, Gallego is pictured along with President Barack Obama, United States House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, all Democrats.
The paid political ad accuses Gallego and company of three things: wanting “Marriage to be between man and man,” next to a photo of two men embracing and kissing; accusing Gallego of wanting “to provide abortions for underage girls;” and saying “No to God,” three times, next to an image of Jesus Christ.
It is the use of Christ’s image that has caused a firestorm among journalists, analysts and the candidates themselves.
“I think it’s offensive,” Gallego said this week. He said he couldn’t believe “that someone would use Jesus for political profiteering.” Gallego held a press conference in San Antonio this week to denounce the ad.
“I have never seen a picture of Jesus used in such a disrespectful and demeaning manner,” he said to reporters at the news conference. “I doubt very much that Jesus would have been pleased.”
Canseco and Gallego are both Catholic.
According to The Texas Tribune, Canseco stood by his political advertising, speaking before Gallego’s press conference. “Pete Gallego can have all the press conferences that he wants. We need to talk about who we are and what we stand for and not hide behind all these antics.”