Fellow Rio Grande Valley Citizens, I was extremely disappointed to see so many local elected officials sign off on an endorsement of John Cornyn. This is a message for each and every one of you.

You live in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. We are in the middle a pandemic that has affected hundreds of thousands of our residents and left thousands without fathers, mothers, grandparents, sisters, brothers and friends We are still grieving from those losses. This did not have to happen and it is without a doubt the fault of a President who hid the severity of the disease from the American people and ignored the scientists and members of the medical profession – all for the sake of politics. It is also without dispute that this President has been enabled by John Cornyn, the man that you have just asked South Texans to return to the Senate.

This same John Cornyn, the man you have endorsed, has led the fight to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a law that has provided healthcare to hundreds of thousands of the residents who elected you. Mr. Cornyn joined Republican leaders in refusing to accept $100 billion in Expanded Medicaid money that would have provided healthcare to a million Texans and thousands of your fellow citizens.

This same John Cornyn has voted against the Violence Against Women Act, which has saved the lives of millions of women, many whose sons, daughters, mothers and fathers are your constituents.

He has consistently voted against increasing the federal minimum wage of $7.25, hardly a living wage and a wage that more of your constituents have to accept than anywhere else in the country. 

He has turned a blind eye to Trump’s support of racist white nationalists and even when Trump has called our people rapists and criminals Mr. Cornyn has stood silent. I hope that you have not forgotten that 95 percent of the people that you represent are of the same national origin as the people that Trump has insulted.

There are many more examples of how thIs man who you have endorsed has, through action or in-action, hurt the very people you represent, such as, for example, when he voted against the first Latina to ever be appointed to the U. S. Supreme Court and how today he is supporting the appointment of Trump’s nominee to the Court who will almost certainly vote to throw out the Affordable Care Act in a couple of months, eliminating the pre-existing protections that the Act provides to the citizens of your cities and counties.

It is certainly your right to support who you wish, but you should also know that the man that you have asked your constituents to vote for has, for the last 20 plus years, consistently turned his back on the very people that elected you to office.

Editor’s Note: The above commentary was made by Gilberto Hinojosa, chairman of the Texas Democratic Party, in response to the endorsement of U.S. Sen. John Cornyn by over 100 South Texas leaders. The commentary first appeared in Facebook and is reprinted in The Rio Grande Guardian with the permission of the author.

Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above guest column shows Gilberto Hinojosa. Credit: Texas Public Radio.

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