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2020 Senate District 19 Runoff race has all too familiar tone

As the run-off election between Xochil Pena Rodriguez and Roland Gutierrez comes to a head in who will battle Pete Flores in the General Election, shadows of the special election in 2018 once again rear their head.

The day after many SD19 residents learned of a possible COVID crisis that could paralyze the Senate District particularly due to limited resources and scarce access to health care in the area, the residents received a mailer. Once again the Republican PAC, Vote Texas, laid in attacks into one of the candidates. These mailers liken the image of the Trumps to one of the candidates and accuse of lies and corruption.

The Xochil Pena Rodriguez campaign released a statement about these mailers, “For months Roland Gutierrez has been attacking me while hiding behind ‘Vote Texas PAC’…This fraudulent complaint filed against our campaign was obviously a coordinated, politically motivated attack, but the Texas Ethics Commission quickly dismissed the case, clearing our campaign of false allegations.”

There is a consistent stream of attacks by surrogates, advisers and friends of the Gutierrez campaign as seen in 2018 to today. The Gutierrez campaign leveled accusations against Pete Gallego due to him having multiple addresses and voting in different location.

These accusations were like the ones in this election, debunked. However, the lasting effect of traditional attack politics seems out of line particularly in the 2020 election due to the issues in SD19, particularly its issues with the current COVID-19 Pandemic.

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