Texas pro-life Democrat wins run-off primary election

shutterstock 121938490 Texas capitol building, Austen. | Gang Liu/Shutterstock

A pro-life Texas state senator won his Democratic primary race on Tuesday, after being the target of aggressive negative campaigning - including ethnic slurs from pro-abortion groups.

Sen. Eddie Lucio (D) of Texas' 27th district won his primary runoff against Sara Stapleton-Barrera on Tuesday, receiving 53.6% of the vote to Barrera's 46.4%.

Lucio, of Mexican descent, has served in the Texas state senate since 1991. He has voted for legislation to ban dismemberment abortions, to bar taxpayer funding of abortion, and to improve Texas abortion reporting.

During his 2020 campaign, Planned Parenthood Texas Votes PAC and the pro-abortion Texas Freedom Network referred to him as "Sucio Lucio" in direct mail campaigns and online, literally meaning "dirty Lucio." The term "sucio" has historically been used as an anti-Mexican slur.

Some critics of Lucio said the term was used in reference to his political tactics, but Lucio, along with his son who is a state representative, said it is offensive in the region of his South Texas district.

Rep. Eddie Lucio III in a press release condemned the "derogatory and racial slurs" against his father.

"These big special-interests groups from outside our border community should comprehend the deeper connotations behind the word 'sucio' ('dirty Mexican') and the association with a person of Hispanic descent," he said.

Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville also issued a statement saying that the reference was "derogatory," noting that "'Sucio' is an unacceptable word when associated with a Mexican American family name."

Lucio advances to the general election, where he will face off with Republican nominee Vanessa Tijerina who was arrested in June and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and a DWI.

In an interview with CNA last week, Lucio said his pro-life views were informed by his upbringing in a Catholic family of ten who attended St. Joseph parish in West Brownsville.

He told CNA that he was attacked for his pro-life views, but that he wouldn't be deterred. "I don't make any excuses for that, and I don't apologize for that," Lucio said.

He added that his pro-life views "from conception until natural death" bring him in opposition at times to both political parties, as Democrats "will support a woman's right to an abortion" while Republicans may vote against expanding Medicaid or in support of the death penalty.

Susan B. Anthony List, which contributed mail and digital ads in Lucio's favor, said they were "thrilled" over his victory, especially since Barrera supported abortion until birth.

Lucio, said the group's president Marjorie Dannenfelser, "is a Democrat who has bucked his party's abortion extremism" and who "will continue to faithfully represent the interests of pro-life Texans who believe in commonsense limits on abortion that protect unborn babies and their moms."

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