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Texas Run-off Turns Nasty over Terrorism

The run-off campaign between Republic Rep. Henry Bonilla and ex-congressman Ciro Rodriguez in Texas’s 23rd district is coming down to the wire, and Bonilla is slamming his opponent over alleged ties to terrorist organizations and individuals.

On Monday, Bonilla held a press conference accusing Rodriguez of having “dangerous judgment” when it comes to matters of national security. Bonilla criticized his opponent’s support, in the late 1990s, of a bill that would have eliminated the use of secret evidence to deport illegal immigrants; his acceptance of a campaign donation from Abdurahman Alamoudi in 1998; and the conduct of former Rodriguez staffer Asim Ghafoor.

The Rodriguez camp, in turn, brought out charges of an undocumented nanny in the Bonilla household.

The candidates will face each other in a December 12 runoff election. Bonilla faced six Democrats, including Rodriguez, in a November 7 open primary that was held after the Supreme Court ruled that the existing design of the 23rd district had been created by an unconstitutional racial gerrymander.

In the primary, Bonilla won 48.1% of the vote to Rodriguez’s 20.3%, forcing the runoff. Because the Democratic vote was split in the primary, the runoff is seen as very competive. And the heavy-hitting days before the election would seem to indicate that the Bonilla camp is nervous.

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