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Hurd, Gallego Vie For Vets' Vote In Congressional Rematch

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AARON SCHRANK/TPR
Congressman Will Hurd and Governor Greg Abbott

Accusations are flying in the rematch election for U.S. House District 23. The candidates recently challenged each other’s support for military families at campaign events in San Antonio this weekend.

Alpine Democrat Pete Gallego is hoping to retake the seat he lost to San Antonio Republican Will Hurd two years ago. Gallego held an event at a VFW post in San Antonio for POW-MIA Recognition Day Friday, where he said Congressman Hurd has voted to cut funding for veterans. Gallego says comments made by Donald Trump about POWs and Gold Star families reflect poorly on Congressman Hurd.

“I can tell you that Mr. Trump’s philosophy may be in line with Mr. Hurd’s and may be line with Governor Abbott’s, but it’s certainly out of line with all of the veterans I’ve met in San Antonio and across the district,’ Gallego said.

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Credit USDA Photo by Lance Cheung via Flickr Creative Commons

Gallego accused Hurd of holding a town hall for veterans last month as an excuse to shoot a commercial. That was echoed by Cheryl Lankford, a gold star wife who spoke at the Democratic National Convention about her poor experience with Trump University—and attended the Hurd event.

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Credit AARON SCHRANK/TPR
A map in a Hurd campaign office shows the boundaries of House District 23, in green.

A few weeks ago, we had a town hall meeting here, and it was for another candidate running for District 23, said Lankford. “What we quickly realized was that this candidate is not here to listen to our needs as military, as survivors, as veterans.”

Hurd has criticized Trump, and generally avoids talking about his party’s presidential nominee on the campaign trail. At a campaign event with Governor Gregg Abbott Saturday, Hurd defended his support of the military.  He told the crowd that, as an undercover CIA agent, he served alongside men and women in the armed forces. 

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Credit AARON SCHRANK/TPR
Congressman Will Hurd greets Texas Governor Greg Abbott

“And it’s unfortunate that my opponent is spreading lies about my record when it comes to supporting veterans,” said Hurd. “This is something that’s very important to my campaign. We’ve helped over 500 veterans deal with the VA in some form or fashion.”

Hurd said he’ll have two pieces of legislation passing this week—including one to help modernize the federal government’s Information Technology.

“This is a man who has gotten things done,” said Abbott, addressing a small crowd preparing to canvass the neighborhood for Hurd. “He deserves the rookie of the year award for what he got done in Congress this last time.”

Unlike Hurd, Abbott has recently voiced clear support for Donald Trump—but he avoided using Trump’s name Saturday. Abbott said Hillary Clinton would decimate the military, and there is ‘only one choice for President.’