LUBBOCK, TX–A recent spat between a Hispanic Lubbock City Council Member and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott boiled into a statewide story yesterday when Victor Hernandez denied calling Cecilia Abbott a ‘prop’ to attract Latino voters.
District 1 Lubbock councilman Hernandez emphatically defended himself to the Texas Tribune on March 2: “I categorically deny having ever referred to Mrs. Abbott as a prop. I think that would have been improper. They made a mistake.”
The issue originated at a February 25 campaign stop in Lubbock when the Abbotts hosted a get-out-the-vote rally at a local panaderia. Abbott commented that his election to the governor’s mansion would also bring the first Latina first lady of Texas. The next day, Hernandez hosted a counter rally at the same location and argued, “Abbott came into our house uninvited…Wanting to somehow give the illusion that the Lubbock County Hispanic Community is supportive.”
Hernandez continued, “He’s using props, really, in my viewpoint is disrespectful to our community… What he needs to do is go beyond the props of a background of a Mexican restaurant, and actually come to our community.” He then clarified, “I don’t really want to say a whole lot about his wife, because this really isn’t about his wife. It’s about her husband.”
The plural use of the word “prop” by Hernandez created immediate speculation on the full intent of Hernandez’s charge. The Abbott campaign wasted no time working to gin up outrage on Twitter.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) February 27, 2014
It’s deeply offensive that a Democrat elected official called my Latina wife of 32 years a “prop”. http://t.co/MJzjTCvSRC
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) February 28, 2014
Attorney General Greg Abbott married his wife Cecelia in 1982, just two years before he was paralyzed by a falling oak tree while jogging.
Follow Logan Churchwell on Twitter @LCChurchwell