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Lone Star Project Supports Blanco in HD-76 Race

Either the incumbent is too questionable to support or the challenger is too promising to pass up. For the progressive Lone Star Project, both are true in the race for El Paso’s House District 76.

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In what the progressive Lone Star Project acknowledged is a rare move, the political action committee on Friday endorsed Democrat Cesar Blanco in his bid to unseat incumbent Naomi Gonzalez, D-El Paso.

“While the Lone Star Project hasn’t often endorsed challenger candidates in contested Democratic primaries, we have done so when a particular candidate is extremely qualified or when an incumbent is badly flawed,” Lone Star Project Director Matt Angle said in a news release. “In the contested Democratic primary race in Texas House District 76 in El Paso, both circumstances apply.”

Former state Rep. Norma Chávez is also running for the nomination.

Gonzalez said she didn’t recall being contacted by the LSP, which she called the “Washington D.C.-based organization,” an indication that Gonzalez’s camp is likely to peg Blanco — who worked for U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego, D-Alpine, and former Reps. Silvestre Reyes, D-El Paso, and Ciro Rodriguez, D-San Antonio — as an outsider.

“Representative Gonzalez makes every effort to respond to all endorsement requests, but she does not recall ever receiving an invitation or questionnaire from the Washington DC-based organization,” the campaign said in an email. “Rep. Gonzalez is proud of her endorsements, and just yesterday earned the support of the El Paso Central Labor Union.”

The LSP endorsement comes a day after Blanco reported he slightly outraised Gonzalez during the last six months of 2013, earning about $70,000 to her $68,000.

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