As the Texas House District 28 runoff election campaign reaches its final few weeks, Democratic power brokers are trying to give Dr. Eliz Markowitz a final boost by after the Republican candidate, Gary Gates.
The Texas Democratic Party released a statement calling Gates “a credibly-alleged child abuser” and compared him to failed Alabama senatorial candidate Roy Moore.
“Gary Gates’ alleged actions are sickening,” TDP executive director Manny Garcia said in a statement. “Child abusers are unfit to serve in the Texas Legislature. Period. This goes beyond politics and partisanship. This is a vote about what’s right and what’s wrong.”
This comes after Forward Majority, a liberal super PAC, released a television ad accusing Gates of mistreating his foster children and spending money to shield himself from investigations.
The ad focuses on when Child Protective Services investigated Gates and his wife, Melissa, in 2000 for negligence. The case was later dropped.
But in interviews with investigators, Gates’ children accused their parents of giving them “throw-up” medicine (ipecac) for eating food they should not be eating, and Gary Gates taping newspaper around a child’s hand to prevent them from stealing food.
The issue also came up in Gates’ failed effort to win the Republican primary for Texas Railroad Commissioner. The Texas Scorecard, a conservative blog, said in 2016 that “reporting on those cases reveals that Gates may very well have abused his adopted children.”
The ad is expected to air on cable channels in the Fort Bend County area until Election Day on Jan. 28.
Meanwhile, two Democratic presidential candidates gave endorsements to Markowitz. Former vice president Joe Biden said that Markowitz is “the kind of fighter who will bring heart and smarts to the statehouse and to communities across Texas and at home in Fort Bend County.”
This came a week after former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg block-walked with Markowitz in a Katy neighborhood.
Former presidential candidate and former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke also helped Markowitz with her campaign by block walking and hosting a phone bank in his home in El Paso.
Markowitz, a Katy educator, has become the shining hope for Texas Democrats to believe that they can flip the Texas House, which is controlled by the GOP. If Markowitz can win a reliably Republican seat, then Democrats can have a strong chance of winning in less competitive races.
But Gates, a Rosenberg businessman, still has some big endorsements of his own, including Gov. Greg Abbott, Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls and Dr. John Zerwas, the person who left the seat Gates is trying to fill.