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Another day, another Texas state representative was accused of trying to use self-sacrifice for political gain.
State Rep. Michelle Beckley, a Democrat, joined over 50 of her colleagues earlier this month to flee Texas to deny a quorum on GOP voting bills. She took to Twitter Tuesday night to appeal for support as she tries to unseat a Texas Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“I’m one of the brave Texas Democrats who came to D.C. to fight for voting rights in my state. Now, I’m fighting to flip a seat held by an anti-democracy Republican. I have 28,500. Can you help us get to 50,000 followers?” she tweeted.
She followed up the tweet with a link on how best to contribute to her campaign.
Beckley’s office did not immediately respond to an after-hours email from Fox News, but the tweet faced criticism for the bravery reference.
Jason Rantz, the radio host, tweeted, “YOU. CALLED. YOURSELF. BRAVE” Another commenter tweeted, “If you have to tell people what you did was “brave,” it’s a pretty good bet that it wasn’t brave at all.”
Her tweet seemed to have some effectiveness. By early Wednesday, her account apparently jump from 28,500 to 33,700. She also received tweets in support of her effort.
The Texas issue is clearly divided between parties. Democrat supporters have compared these lawmakers to suffragettes and civil rights leaders, while their detractors have accused them of holding up a fair bill that they say makes it “easier to vote & harder to cheat.”
But despite where you stand on the bills, many see their message at times having been eclipsed by avoidable errors. One Democrat was criticized for posting a photograph of her dirty laundry inside a hotel room, which led to allegations of “phony” sacrifice. (The lawmaker later apologized for distracting from the real issue.) There was also a photograph that showed a group traveling with a case of Miller Lite beer that raised questions about their seriousness. An outbreak of COVID-19 has also emerged as an issue and even prompted Vice President Harris to be tested at Walter Reed.
Texas House Democrats left the state in an attempt to break quorum and stop the votes on two election bills put forward by Republicans. The lawmakers hopped on a private flight to Washington where they planned to push for federal voter protections.
Gov. Greg Abbott, the Texas Republican, told Fox News on Tuesday that he plans to call a subsequent special session of the Texas State Legislature as soon as the absentee lawmakers return from their trip.
Abbott told “America Reports” that Texans are recognizing that the dozens of fleeing State House members are shirking their taxpayer-funded work on their behalf and that the trip has been a “disaster.”
“Their constituents are getting mighty upset about the fact that their house member is not in the [Capitol], doing the job they were elected to do,” he said.
Beckley will challenge U.S. Rep. Beth Van Duyne, a Republican in the state’s 24th Congressional District. The Texas Tribune reported that Van Duyne is one of two Republicans in the Lone Star state that is being targeted for 2022.
Van Dunye’s office did not immediately respond to an email.
Beckley posted in an earlier tweet: “Generations of Americans have come to Washington, D.C., to learn about our democracy. I came here with over 50 of my colleagues to save it. Leaving our families behind to block Texas’s voter suppression bill.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report
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