A Texas Democratic congressional candidate slammed the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Wednesday, accusing the group of trying to meddle in the runoff primary by endorsing her opponent.
Candidate Laura Moser sent a campaign email in response to a DCCC press release that listed her Democratic opponent, Lizzie Fletcher, in its competitive "red-to-blue" program. The program supports Democratic candidates with the aim of unseating Republican lawmakers in districts across the country. It provides "top-tier candidates with organizational and fundraising support to help them continue to run strong campaigns," according to the program website.
While the DCCC, citing a "communications staff drafting error," sent a corrected version of the press release six minutes later excluding Fletcher's name, the Moser campaign was not buying the "error." The campaign pointed out the DCCC's history of attacking Moser earlier in the primary when it published opposition research against her on its website.
The DCCC's strategy in taking a stand against Moser backfired among the progressive base of the party, with political operatives and media figures castigating the strategy. The results of the initial primary called for a runoff between Moser and Fletcher.
"This morning, the DCCC sent out an email endorsing our primary opponent. They later called it a ‘communications staff drafting error' — which, like ‘mistakes were made,' is what people in Washington say when they don’t want to take responsibility for something," Moser wrote in the campaign email.
Moser, a Houston journalist and the creator of a text-messaging tool instrumental in channeling progressive anger into activism against President Donald Trump, also questioned whether it was actually an "error" and said the DCCC had already unleashed "false and misleading attacks" against her family days before the primary election.
"I’ll never forget that terrible moment when a staffer pulled me aside to show me the opposition research the DCCC had dumped on me on their website. As a lifelong Democrat, I was stunned. How could the party I had dedicated so much of my life to turn on me so maliciously? What would this mean for our campaign?" Moser said.
"After all, we’ve had fair warning. They’re going to try to rig the runoff, too. But the folks in Washington who so often choose losing corporate clones don’t have that much influence on Texans," Moser added. "We’ll choose our own candidates, thank you very much. And we'll win with a strong message, a genuine commitment to democratic values, and grassroots support — not through a party coronation."
Moser will face Fletcher, an attorney, in the runoff on May 22.