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Lesbian war veteran targeted with vile anti-trans attacks by Republicans loses congressional race on a knife-edge

Reiss Smith November 4, 2020
Gina Ortiz Jones, the candidate hoping to flip Texas' 23rd Congressional District

Gina Ortiz Jones, the candidate who had hoped to flip Texas' 23rd Congressional District

Gina Ortiz Jones, a lesbian war veteran, has lost Texas’ 23rd District after being targeted with anti-trans Republican adverts.

Texas’ 23rd Congressional District was declared a victory for Republican Tony Gonzales by the Associated Press.

Gonzales has so far won 152,000 (50.1 per cent) to Ortiz Jones’ 143,000 (47.1), with the New York Times reporting >98 per cent of votes counted.

The result will come as a crushing disappointment for local Democrats, who had hoped to flip the majority-Hispanic 23rd District after the incumbent Will Hurd, the House’s only Black Republican, retired.

Ortiz Jones fought a close battle with Hurd in 2018, losing by less than a thousand votes.

Gina Ortiz Jones targeted with anti-trans ads.

As she came up against Gonzales, Gina Ortiz Jones found herself targeted by anti-trans ads by the National Republican Campaign Committee (NRCC).

“Gina Jones doesn’t care about Texas… [she] supported closing military bases, putting patriots out of work, yet Jones would divert military money to pay for transgender reassignment surgeries,” the advert said.

This falsified claim was an attempt to skew Ortiz Jones’ record.

Ortiz Jones had criticised Hurd in 2018 for backing an attempt to remove transition-related care from the healthcare benefits available to serving military personnel, before Donald Trump imposed the ban on trans people serving in the armed forces.

A website run by the NRRC continued the dog-whistle anti-LGBT+ attacks on Ortiz Jones, featuring a photo of the candidate with her same-sex partner.

“The contrast between Tony Gonzales and Gina Jones couldn’t be clearer,” read the caption.

A briefing on the site encouraged Republican door-knockers to inform voters that “Jones and her female partner lived and worked near Washington DC, not Texas”.

In reality, the Democrat grew up in San Antonio, Texas, leaving to enrol in the military. After her deployment to Iraq, she moved to DC to work in intelligence and public service for the federal government, before returning to her family home in San Antonio in 2017.

The website also repeats the suggestion that Ortiz Jones “supported using taxpayer money to pay for gender reassignment surgery” — an attack that, again, falsifies her record.

 

More: Gina Ortiz Jones, US Election 2020

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