ALTON, Texas – The federal affairs director of the Working Families Party has told Congressional District 25 candidate Ruben Ramirez to stop claiming that her group is supporting him.

In fact, said Natalia Salgado, the grassroots political party is supporting Ramirez’s opponent in the Democratic Party primary runoff election, Michelle Vallejo.

“Several voters in Texas Congressional District 15 have received fraudulent get-out-the-vote texts purporting to be from the Working Families Party and urging them to vote for Ruben Ramirez,” Salgado, pictured above, said.

“Let’s be clear: we’re supporting Michelle Vallejo, a community leader and advocate who will fight against exactly this kind of dirty politics. Misinforming voters right before Election Day is unacceptable. We will be calling on the FCC to investigate, determine who is responsible, and hold them accountable.”

FCC stands for the Federal Communications Commission.

Alex Obolensky, a spokesman for the Ramirez campaign, said Ramirez has nothing to do with the misinformation and that the candidate would never play dirty politics.

“The Ruben Ramirez for Congress campaign has nothing to do with these texts. Whoever is sending them should stop,”  Obolensky said.

“We are fighting every day for affordable healthcare, an excellent education, and a great job for everyone in the RGV — and know that we will win on the merits.”

Ruben Ramirez and Miguel A. “Mike” Garza.

In addition to disowning texts sent by someone erroneously claiming to be with the Working Families Party, Ramirez also moved fast to disassociate himself from an Edinburg consultant who has just been indicted on a federal bribery charge.

Miguel A. “Mike” Garza pleaded not guilty to allegations that he participated in a kickback scheme that allegedly involved former Edinburg public officials and a business owner. Garza is the owner of the Strong Blue RGV company. 

“The newly reported details are alarming and the campaign has terminated its relationship with Mike Garza,” the Ramirez campaign told the McAllen Monitor. “Corruption has no place in government and Ruben is committed to cracking down on waste, fraud, and abuse in Congress.”

The Ramirez campaign made one payment to Strong Blue RGV on Jan. 6, another on Feb. 1 and a third on Feb. 16, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission. These payments came after Garza’s house was raided by the FBI. That happened on Feb. 24, 2020.

Garza has also done campaign consultancy work for former Edinburg Mayor Richard Molina, former Edinburg Councilman Jorge “Coach” Salinas, and current Hidalgo County Commissioner Ellie Torres. 

Early voting is currently underway in the CD 15 runoff election. It concludes May 20. Election Day is May 24.


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