“It appears that El Paso voters have tossed out Rep. Silvestre Reyes, ignoring the advice and endorsements of two presidents, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton,” according to the Dallas News. Maybe the voters are listening to other voices which are working to oppose incumbents who are entrenched in office. The Washington Post reports: “President Obama endorsed Reyes, and former president Bill Clinton campaigned for him. But the eight-term congressman was targeted by an anti-incumbent super PAC, the Campaign for Primary Accountability, which spent $240,000 on the race. ”
Not long ago, Reyes, a Democrat, laughed off efforts by the Campaign for Primary Responsibility to work against his candidacy in a CBS video.
The Washington Post source says “the Campaign for Primary Accountability … has had a hand in defeating four of the six House incumbents so far.” The Campaign for Primary Accountability is targeting incumbents from both parties in an effort to break Congressional Stagnation by supporting viable challengers in primaries.
Does this indicate that incumbents are now going to face stiffer challenges? Rachel Rose Hartman of ABC News doesn’t think so. She puts Reyes’ defeat down to the desire of Texas voters to support the drug legalization stance of El Paso City Councilman Beto O’Rourke.
O’Rourke, co-author of “Dealing Death and Drugs: The Big Business of Dope in the U.S. and Mexico,” supports marijuana legalization as a step towards ending the War on Drugs. The primary winner serves as a stark contrast to his opponent when it comes to this issue.
There may have been a variety of factors behind Reyes’ defeat, but it is not entirely fanciful to think that a conscious opposition to Congressional Stagnation may have played a part. The Campaign for Primary Responsibility’s message may be getting through, even past the endorsements of Presidents Clinton and Obama.