Congressional candidate accuses San Juan rally for Beto O’Rourke of violating electioneering law

1 year 5 months 2 weeks ago Wednesday, November 02 2022 Nov 2, 2022 November 02, 2022 10:52 PM November 02, 2022 in News - Local

A video circulating on social media shows a Valley congressional candidate questioning whether Texas gubernatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke broke election rules in San Juan.

The allegations made by District 15 candidate Monica De La Cruz claim O’Rourke violated a law banning campaigning within 100 feet of a polling location during a Tuesday rally.

Channel 5 News reached out to the Hidalgo County Elections Department for comment. Interim elections Administrator Hilda Salinas said the event was held outside the 100-foot marker.

“It is to my understanding that the event was held outside the 100-foot marker,” Salinas said in a statement. “The elections department provides the polling location with signage to mark the 100-foot marker.  The city of San Juan also has their own designated electioneering area, as well as their own signs. Any questions on the placement of signs outside the 100-foot marker, would be directed to the city of San Juan.

Tori Larned, press secretary for O’Rourke, said there is no truth to De La Cruz’s comments.

“There is no truth to what the congressional candidate is saying,” Larned said in a statement. “We were the appropriate distance away and local election officials were there on the ground to ensure that.”

Channel 5 News went to the polling location and measured the distance between the entrance and the steps where the rally was held. The rally location was well over 100 feet from the entrance.

When reached for comment, De La Cruz’s campaign manager Karen Navarro said the matter was being forwarded to her legal counsel.

“We were notified by our supporters about a rally being held at the footsteps of a voting site, which would be a violation of state statutes,” Navarro said in a statement. “We have forwarded this matter to our legal counsel, who will determine the best course of action. While our opponent fights for socialism, South Texans can always count on Monica to fight for our families — whether it is protecting the integrity of our democratic process or securing the border.”

A sign marking the electioneering distance marker was actually posted 75 feet from the official 100-foot marker.

Salinas said any markers outside the official marker would’ve been placed there by San Juan officials, who didn’t respond to a request for comment.

The sign erroneously placed by the city may have played a role in De La Cruz's allegations against O'Rourke.

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