A recent ad focusing on school safety and gun control from Democratic Rep. Vicente Gonzalez’s re-election campaign features an edited, unappealing photo of Rep. Mayra Flores, his Republican challenger in the race to represent Texas’ 34th Congressional District.
The ad, which was amplified on social media from Gonzalez’s campaign, targeted Flores for her vote against the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act in the wake of the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, and featured an edited photo of Flores holding a firearm.
The photo used in the ad, which was originally shared to Flores’ Instagram account in January, appears to have been edited to give Flores’ eyebrows a more aggressive look.
“Republican Mayra Flores’ first vote in Congress was against the Bipartisan Safe Communities Act,” the ad’s narrator stated as the edited image of Flores flashed on the screen. “She voted against keeping our children safe in schools, against keeping weapons out of the hands of Mexican cartels, and against keeping guns out of the hands of criminals with a prior history of domestic violence.”
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Gonzalez, who currently represents the state’s 15th Congressional District in the House, promoted the doctored photo through his campaign’s Twitter account, writing: “After the tragic shooting at Uvalde, Mayra Flores’ first vote in Congress was AGAINST a bipartisan school safety bill. We need a representative that works to protect our children and families; not someone who puts them in danger.”
At the time, Gonzalez made no mention that the photo of Flores used in his campaign’s ad was edited.
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Fox News Digital reached out to the Gonzalez campaign about the edited photo used in the ad, but did not receive an immediate response.
Responding to the Gonzalez campaign’s use of the edited image for the ad, Flores told Fox News Digital in a statement that she believes voters in her district will not fall for the “scare tactics.”
“First, Vicente Gonzalez hired a racist blogger to attack me for my heritage. Now Vicente is doing the dirty work himself with this shameless and pathetic photoshopping,” Flores said. “The people in the [Rio Grande Valley] are smarter than this and will see right through Vicente’s scare tactics and constant lies.”
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Last week, Fox News Digital reported that a blogger who amplified racist remarks about former President Obama was paid by Gonzalez’s campaign for “advertising services” on two separate occasions.
Gonzalez and Flores will go head-to-head in the Lone Star State’s November 8 election in an effort to retain their seats in the House and represent Texas’ 34th Congressional District.