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Mayra Flores’ Opponent Claims She 'Stole That Last Election,' but Does He Know What Fellow Dems Are Up to?

AP Photo/LM Otero

Democrats love to throw around talk of concerns about election security, which includes demonizing their opponents when it comes to claims of stolen elections. They do it with such vigor that they look particularly silly and hypocritical for raising the alarm when they make such claims of stolen elections themselves. One recent example comes from Rep. Vicente Gonzalez Jr., a Democrat who will face Rep. Mayra Flores, a Republican, in November. 

Rep. Flores won June's special election to replace Rep. Filemon Vela, a Democrat who had resigned in March, beating out Daniel Sanchez by 50.91 percent to his 43.37 percent. Not only was she the first Republican to represent the area since 1870, but she's also the first Mexican-born member of Congress. 

She and Rep. Gonzalez, who currently represents the 15th Congressional District, will face each other for control of the 34th Congressional District in November due to redistricting. 

As Sarah highlighted on Sunday, the congressman claimed that Rep. Flores stole her election away from the Democrats because of the money she raised, which in part came from out-of-state. 

"Our democracy is at stake… there’s millions and millions of dollars from outside our region and outside our state that are coming here to try to steal our elections and take away your value and take away the process that we rely on, which is elections. And we don’t have the resources to compete with these outside resources. We can’t compete with the Koch brothers, we can’t compete with big oil, and big tobacco, and the NRA. They can outspend us, but they can’t outwork us," he's quoted as saying in footage posted to Twitter by Flores. He went on to once more emphasize "they stole that election."

That Gonzalez would harp on a candidate taking in out-of-state funds is particularly rich, considering what his fellow Democrats have done. This even includes from within Texas, where former Rep. Beto O'Rourke is running for governor against Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX). O'Rourke also ran for U.S. Senate and in the 2020 presidential primary, losing both races. 

While the mainstream media, such as The New York Times and The Texas Tribune touted O'Rourke breaking Texas fundraising records, it's in part because he received a $1 million donation from George Soros. Those same articles also went on to acknowledge that Gov. Abbott had more cash-on-hand. 

TX Elects had more when it comes to highlighting how nearly half of O'Rourke's funds come from out of state, with aded emphasis:

Nearly half of Democratic gubernatorial challenger Beto O’Rourke’s record-setting contribution total came from donors outside Texas, according to our cursory analysis of his more than 100,000-page July semiannual report. Texans supplied 52.7% of his contribution total from February 20 through June 30. Donors from California (11.4%), New York (8.6%), Colorado (3.0%) and Massachusetts (2.5%) led out-of-state contributions, which totaled just over $13M.

Six out of every seven dollars contributed to Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) campaign during the period came from Texans. He raised $21.3M from Texas donors, representing 86% of his overall total. California (3.4%), Florida (1.5%) and Oklahoma (1.3%) residents led his out-of-state contributions. Abbott out-raised O’Rourke, $21.3M to $14.5M, among Texans.

Another loser, and fellow election denier, includes Stacey Abrams. She and Gov. Brian Kemp are going for a rematch this November of the 2018 election. 

Just like they did with Beto, the mainstream media gushed over Abrams' fundraising efforts. One egregious example from Jeff Amy at the Associated Press read that "Georgia’s Abrams raises $22M in 2 months, far outpacing Kemp." Except for when including a direct quote from a Kemp spokesperson, Amy never mentions that Abrams funds mostly came from out of state.

Barbara Rodriguez's piece for The 19th, "How Stacey Abrams became a fundraising juggernaut" is even worse. The particularly long piece could hardly be more glowing. It's not until the 48th paragraph--out of 56--that Rodriguez references "financial support from outside of the state," and she doesn't bother to point out that Abrams receives more from outside of Georgia than Kemp does.

As Axios' Lachlan Markay and Emma Hurt pointed out in their report on how "Stacey Abrams' blockbuster fundraising driven by out-of-state money," just 14 percent of her donations of $49.6 million as of June 30, 2022 came from Georgia. In fact, more people from California gave to Abrams than those from Georgia did. Most of Kemp's donations, on the other hand, $26.2 million of his $31.5 million for that time period, came from within the state. 

Just as the Texas race favors Abbott, this Georgia gubernatorial race favors Kemp as well.

As it turns out, having out-of-state funds doesn't always help you. Not only are Abrams and O'Rourke likely to lose, but former Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D-VA) lost his race last year against Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R-VA).

McAuliffe had narrowly won in 2013 with less than a majority of the vote. He ran again in 2021, as the Virginia state constitution prohibits governors from running for consecutive terms. 

Elliot Davis Jr., writing for U.S. News & World Report last October, pointed to findings from the Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP), which found that close to 30 percent of McAuliffe's donations came from out-of-state. As he wrote:

The lack of regulation in Virginia means that a lot of money is being donated from other parts of the country. Close to 30% of McAuliffe's funds have come from out-of-state, according to VPAP. The former governor, who served from 2014 to 2018, has accepted large amounts of cash from Maryland, New York and Washington, D.C., in particular, according to Alex Keena, an assistant professor of political science at Virginia Commonwealth University. The Virginia Public Access Project notes that only 8% of Youngkin's donations have come from out-of-state, but nearly half of his funds are from self-financing.

"All of this money flowing into Virginia – much of it out-of-state – raises questions about the candidates' priorities once they get into office and whether they have an incentive to connect with ordinary voters once they are in office," Keena says in an email.

Would Rep. Gonzalez be complaining so much about outside funds if it helped him and his party, especially in this race? It's doubtful. 

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