Screen shot from the Beto O'Rourke campaign website.

Congressman Silvestre Reyes lost in the Democratic primary last night to challenger Beto O’Rourke. It’s a notable upset given that this is only the third time this year an incumbent has lost to an outside challenge. But it’s also indicative of a larger wave against corruption.

Republic Report profiled the race before, noting that Reyes has been dogged by corruption scandals, both in terms of his policy positions and how his family has benefitted from his political connections. Like the Cartwright-Holden race earlier this year, in which another veteran lawmaker plagued by corruption scandals was ousted, Reyes’ opponent ran on a platform of cleaning up Congress:

Reyes’ hardline views on the Drug War — going so far to suggest sending military drones for strikes in Mexico — were rewarded handsomely by military contractors, according to our review of FEC records. In contrast, O’Rourke has argued in favor of relaxing draconian drug laws, and favors legalization of marijuana.

The Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics PAC contributions to Reyes funded fear-mongering ads, which attempted to conflate O’Rourke’s support for marijuana legalization to legalization of all drugs:

But the eleventh-hour contributions from big business weren’t enough to save Reyes.

RELATED: Congressman Tim Holden Defeated: First Lawmaker In 2012 Loses His Seat Over Ties To K Street

Republic Report is a new blog dedicated to investigating corruption in both political parties. To receive daily updates with our stories, subscribe here.

Filed under: Elections

Add a comment
Related