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Noriega calls Cornyn a hypocrite on border fence vote

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://www.elpasotimes.com/ci_9625655 Noriega calls Cornyn a hypocrite on border fence vote By ELIZABETH WHITE Associated Press Writer Article Launched:
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 18, 2008
      http://www.elpasotimes.com/ci_9625655

      Noriega calls Cornyn a hypocrite on border fence vote
      By ELIZABETH WHITE Associated Press Writer
      Article Launched: 06/18/2008 03:42:19 PM MDT

      SAN ANTONIO—Democratic Senate candidate Rick Noriega said Wednesday that Republican Sen. John Cornyn is a "hypocrite" who should not expect South Texans to vote for him after he "spit in their face" by voting for the border fence.

      Noriega, a state representative from Houston, predicted he would prevail in the Rio Grande Valley, where Cornyn has been working with landowners in the path of the U.S.-Mexico border fence, earning himself several local endorsements.

      "You don't go down to South Texas and spit in their face, which he has done, on children's issues, on veterans issues and on the (border) wall and on private property issues, and then expect the people to vote for you," Noriega told a news conference where he was endorsed by more than a dozen San Antonio-area officials.

      Cornyn voted in favor of the law requiring a border fence, which has strong opposition in the Valley.

      The heavily Hispanic Rio Grande Valley is a key constituency in Noriega's effort to beat the better-funded Cornyn, who is seeking a second six-year term in the U.S. Senate. For Cornyn, the endorsements are a big plus in a year when Republicans have lost some gains with Hispanic voters.

      "I understand Rick Noriega is angry and embarrassed that nearly two dozen prominent Valley Democrats endorsed Senator Cornyn but having a difference of opinion is no reason to insult their intelligence," Cornyn campaign spokesman Kevin McLaughlin said in a statement.

      Among those who support Cornyn in the Valley but have opposed a fence are McAllen Mayor Richard Cortez, Cameron County Judge Carlos Cascos and Steve Ahlenius, McAllen Chamber of Commerce president and CEO.

      "Let me just tell you this right now, we're going to beat John Cornyn down in the Valley," Noriega said. "He is not going to continue to be a hypocrite ... and then coming back here and pretending as though he represents Texas families."

      Noriega, who called a news conference to highlight the endorsements, said Cornyn will have to do more "to win this race than throw out a few names."

      Among those appearing with Noriega on Wednesday to endorse him were Democratic state Reps. Ruth Jones McClendon and Joaquin Castro and Bexar County Commissioner Tommy Adkisson.

      ———

      On the Net:

      John Cornyn campaign: http://www.johncornyn.com

      Rick Noriega campaign: http://www.ricknoriega.com
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