Let me disclose that I’ve been for Ruben Gallego since he announced he was running for the seat that veteran Congressman Ed Pastor is retiring from this year. I haven’t made an issue of it because I’m not well versed in the political climate of South Phoenix, despite having a lot of friends there. I’m just impressed by Ruben’s accomplishments and his vigor and, let’s face it, the guy has a solid track record of electoral success, both for his own campaigns and those of others.
I also didn’t have any major beef with Mary Rose Wilcox. It’s purely anecdotal, but that was the sense I got from a lot of Gallego supporters. I have not encountered the kind of animus toward Ruben’s main opponent in the CD07 race that you often see in contested primaries. If anything, Gallego supporters (at least the ones I’ve been around) haven’t liked everything she’s done as a County Supervisor but they were sympathetic to Wilcox over her travails with the Maricopa County Sheriff and former County Attorney.
But then Wilcox’s camp had to go and launch the dumbest and most ham-fisted attack I’ve seen in a long time. Yes, this article is behind a paywall but I’m quoting the relevant facts here:
Abandoned by his father when he was young, Ruben Marinelarena chose to change his name in 2008 to honor his single mother by taking her surname, Gallego, as his own.
Yet a complaint filed by Mary Rose Wilcox ally Mike Snitz alleges Gallego never filed the proper application to legally change his name from Marinelarena to Gallego. The complaint argues that because he listed his name as Gallego on nominating petitions, all his signatures are invalid and he should be kept of the primary ballot in Arizona’s 7th Congressional District.
Wilcox issued a statement Wednesday night in support of the complaint, calling on Gallego “to put his legal surname on the ballot… so everyone has a change to learn about his experiences and who he really is.”
“Anyone running for public office has a responsibility to do so in an open and honest way. My campaign fully supports plaintiff Michael Snitz in this lawsuit because we the people have a right to know who’s running to represent us in Congress,” Wilcox said.
An attorney for Gallego at the time of his name change provided reporters a copy of the Maricopa County Superior Court order, filed in August 2008, which verifies Gallego’s legal name change to Ruben Marinelarena Gallego.
A spokesman for Wilcox could not be reached for comment, and a call to Snitz’ attorney was not returned.
The Gallego family is no stranger to being attacked over names, as Phoenix Councilwoman Kate Gallego was criticized for taking her husband’s surname (which the vast majority of women do) and accused of trying to pass herself off as Hispanic (which she never did). One of the people who made the attack against Kate very publicly happened to be none other than Mary Rose Wilcox. With Ruben, Wilcox is trying to tie Ruben Gallego to the fake Cesar Chavez candidate (nee Scott Fistler) and to make a play out of the Karl Rove handbook – turning her opponent’s strength (Gallego’s family background) into a weakness.
They have not only failed spectacularly in that endeavor but, if my social media feed is any indication, they have turned people who were fairly neutral toward Mary Rose Wilcox very much against her. Good going. Perhaps Wilcox can take heart in the nice new friends she’s making on the right, though.