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Three Republicans Hit GOP Congressman For 'Jesus Ad'

QuicoMailer.jpeg
Texas Tribune
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Three Republicans who served in the Legislature with Rep. Pete Gallego, D-Alpine, are criticizing his GOP opponent's use of a picture of Jesus in a controversial mail piece.

Gallego said U.S. Rep. Quico Canseco's adverstisment, which uses both the face of Jesus and two men kissing each other to criticize the Democrat’s stand on social issues, went “beyond the pale,” and he has called on Canseco to apologize to the voters who got it.

Canseco's campaign said the congressman stands by the ad and calls it accurate.

The Gallego campaign released statements from state Rep. Burt Solomons, R-Carrollton, and former Reps. Elvira Reyna, R-Mesquite, and David Swinford, R-Dumas.

“Religion brings us together. Jesus should not be a prop for any campaign,” said Solomons, who is not seeking re-election. “I’ve known Pete a long time. We don’t agree on every issue, but he’s an honorable man. The constituents would better be served if Congressman Canseco stuck to the issues.”

Swinford, for his part, called Gallego “an honest, Christian man,” adding that “Canseco’s use of an image of Jesus in an attack ad against Pete is just plain wrong.”

Reyna said God is neither Republican nor Democrat.

“It saddens me that Congressman Canseco has chosen to use a sacred image on a political mail piece,” she said, according to the Gallego campaign.

Scott Yeldell, Canseco's campaign manager, said the ad accurately portrays Gallego's record of voting in favor of abortion rights and said he has associated himself with a party that sought to remove references to God from the party platform.

"His party denied God three times at their convention. Now to try and save a failing political career he is acting like he stands up for the faith he abandoned years ago," Yeldell said.

The two sides have disputed Gallego's record on gay issues. Canseco has said Gallego is for gay marriage. Gallego says he is favors allowing gays to unite in civil unions but not get married.

Jay Root is a native of Liberty. He never knew any reporters growing up, and he has never taken a journalism class in his life. But somehow he got hooked on the news business. It all started when he walked into the offices of The Daily Texan, his college newspaper, during his last year at the University of Texas in 1987. He couldn't the resist the draw: it was the the biggest collection of misfits ever assembled. After graduating, he took a job at a Houston chemical company and realized it wasn't for him. Soon he was applying for an unpaid internship at the Houston Post in 1990, and it turned into a full-time job that same year. He has been a reporter ever since. He has covered natural disasters, live music and Texas politics — not necessarily in that order. He was Austin bureau chief of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram for a dozen years, most of them good. He also covered politics and the Legislature for The Associated Press before joining the staff of the Tribune.
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