Texas Republican Congressional Candidate’s Ad Features “Supporter” Who Is Actually His Spokeswoman

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Republican Will Hurd, who is running against Rep. Pete Gallego in CD-23, unveiled his first television ad last week. Unlike his previous ads, this one featured people, not an SUV and doesn’t appear to be based entirely on lies.

Instead, the ad, which you can see below, highlights some of Will Hurd’s supporters talking about how much they like Will Hurd.

The ad is part of the Republican party’s efforts to malign incumbent Rep. Pete Gallego. The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) has maintained that, since Mitt Romney won CD-23 in 2012, they see this race as winnable–even though Will Hurd is an weak candidate. Gallego has consistently led Hurd in fundraising, and has close to a 5-to-1 advantage in terms of cash on hand.

Because of this, several outside groups have poured money into the race, especially in support of Hurd. The NRCC booked $613,225 worth of television ads in San Antonio, and two conservative super PACS also pledged to spend a combined $1 million against Gallego. For his part, Gallego has drawn the support of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), with $1.2 million, and the House Majority PAC, with a $221,000 pledge.

The ad implies that the people featured are actual, unpaid supporters of Will Hurd. But it turns out that at least one of the “supporters” in Hurd’s ad is actually employed as a spokeswoman for his campaign.

At 0:20 in the ad, the woman below praises Will Hurd’s leadership abilities:

hurd ad

The woman appears to be Valerie Chicola, whose Twitter bio lists her as a spokeswoman for the Hurd campaign:
vc twitter

It looks like, despite all the outside money, the Hurd campaign isn’t able to find enough real supporters to fill a 30-second ad. Instead they’ve had to resort to using their own paid employees to pose as “supporters.”

Pete Gallego’s campaign manager Anthony Gutierrez released the following statement in response to Hurd’s ad:

“”Dirty attack ads like the ones from our opponent and his friends are precisely why so many people hate politics. It probably also explains why our opponent has so little actual support that he has to use his employees to stand-in for supporters.

They can have the low road, Pete will keep talking about what’s wrong with Washington and what we can do to fix it.”

Meanwhile, Pete Gallego’s own positive ad is still running, highlighting Gallego’s record of accomplishment in Congress.

Even with millions of dollars of Republican super PAC money, Will Hurd hasn’t been able to find real supporters willing to go on camera to voice their support. Pete Gallego’s record of helping veterans, women, and even children choking on airplanes ensures that he’ll have supporters throughout CD-23 on election day and beyond.

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About Author

Katie Singh

Katie grew up in Austin and has been involved in Texas politics since 2004. She has been a part of several campaigns, from state house races to working at President Obama's campaign headquarters in 2012. She loves public policy, public health, and tacos. Katie tweets from @kasingh19.

1 Comment

  1. This just in: Democrat activist masquerading as journalist attempts smear on Republican because someone in his campaign (who OBVIOUSLY believes in her candidate and therefore has every right to make such statements) WHILE SIMULTANEOUSLY IGNORING HER OWN PREFERRED CANDIDATE’S USE OF HIS CHILD IN HIS ADS.

    Hypocrisy meter pegged at maximum…

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