Waning support for Michelle Vallejo in South Texas could curb her campaign's momentum
New reporting indicates establishment Democrats’ lacking confidence in Texas's 15th Democratic nominee, provoking criticism from activists.
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Michelle Vallejo, the Congressional candidate for Texas’ 15th Congressional District in the House of Representatives is navigating the midterm election time crunch as establishment support for her campaign lessens, according to new reporting by Axios.
With less than a month to go until the general election, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has not moved forward with an endorsement for Vallejo. Historically, a nominee would have already been chosen, but Vallejo did not make their cut.
And in addition to a non-endorsement by the DCCC, the House Majority PAC canceled ad spots for the progressive Texan scheduled to air at the end of the month, according to Axios.
“How can you say you want to fight for us when you won’t support viable candidates? You aren’t fighting. You’re throwing in the towel because you’re comfortable with losing,” wrote progressive activist Olivia Julianna, who is also the Political Director at the advocacy group Gen Z for Change.
District 15 is one of a select few Democratic congressional bastions located in South Texas, just miles from the border. It has also served as a Democratic stronghold by wide margins over the course of its electoral history.
Vallejo in May swiped a victory in a dead-heat race with Rubén Ramírez, ascertaining her position as the Democratic nominee ahead of the general election in November. Incumbent Vincente González is running in a nearby race in the state’s 34th congressional district.
In late September, the Texas Tribune reported on the Republican offense strategy by way of ads targeting Vallejo’s progressive-leaning views. Although Vallejo has largely built her campaign on leftmost-leaning policy, Republicans have opted to use that against her.
One ad levels accusations of “hosting border resistance policies” with anarchist artwork, and “calling to smash ICE" at her family's business. Vallejo’s family owns Pulga Los Portales, where she served as its director. Vallejo distanced herself from the artwork, and her campaign said “that Vallejo does not endorse nor has any connection to whatsoever.” They added the ad “weaponizes community events that were hosted at her family’s flea market," in a statement to the Texas Tribune.
A spokesperson for Vallejo’s campaign told the Texas Tribune those “are not the values of South Texas, and if the NRCC is looking for extremism, all they have to do is look in the mirror.”
Although the DCCC told the Tribune it would drive candidates to the finish line, it has not released any ads in response to the four targetted ads, as part of a larger blitz strategy, by the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC).
Vallejo responded to the series of ads by running spots of her own against her Republican opponent, Mónica de la Cruz Hernández, where she condemned her views on abortion, a notable first since the Democratic nominee had strayed away from the topic.
During an early September interview with AL DÍA News, Vallejo said she preferred to distance herself from the “political games,” and that she would be focusing on “connecting with voters in other ways.”
“[Voters] understand we share other common bonds. Whenever I come across a voter who might not see ideologically eye-to-eye with me, I connect with them in other ways,” she said of more conservative voters.
“It’s funny that you asked how I’m comparing to my opponents' campaign, but I’m focusing on the voters. We’re not playing that game,” Vallejo said at the time.
But waning support could force Vallejo’s hand and strategize, though her campaign has not commented to that effect.
AL DÍA News reached out to Vallejo’s campaign for comment, but did not receive a response.