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Torres Small campaign hire’s gun control lobby past attacked

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RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — A new campaign manager for Democratic U.S. Rep. Xochitl Torres Small is facing attacks from Republicans for once working for a gun control group funded by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The Las Cruces Democrat recently announced that she had hired Emma Caccamo to win reelection in what is expected to be a close race in southern New Mexico’s swing district. Caccamo is the former campaign manager for Democratic U.S. House hopeful Teresa Leger Fernandez in northern New Mexico.

Before working for Leger Fernandez, Caccamo served as deputy political director for Everytown for Gun Safety, a nonpartisan advocacy group that pushes for gun control and against gun violence. But some conservatives see the group and any proposed gun control measures as an attack on gun rights.

Michael Horanburg, campaign manager for Torres Small’s Republican challenger Yvette Herrell, said the hire reeked of hypocrisy from the Democratic congresswoman who shot a rifle in 2018 campaign television ads and often reminded voters in the rural region she was a hunter.

“This is yet another example of Xochitl Torres Small saying one thing to get elected and doing the opposite when it matters,” Horanburg said. “By hiring a radical anti-gun operative to run her campaign Torres Small is again proving she does not support our Second Amendment, and that her actions are totally out of step with the values of New Mexico’s Second District.”

Torres Small’s campaign did not immediately respond to an email and a phone message.

On Tuesday, Torres Small released her first general election campaign ad where the Democrat boasts about working with President Donald Trump to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m Xochitl Torres Small and in New Mexico, we have each other’s backs,” she says in the ad. “That’s why I put politics aside and worked with Republicans, Democrats, and President Trump to pass the coronavirus relief plan.”

Republican National Committee Spokesperson Andres Malave immediately dismissed the ad as “fiction” and said Torres Small voted to impeach Trump.

Torres Small defeated Herrell by less than 4,000 votes in 2018 to give the seat to Democrats for the first time in years.

The sprawling, Republican-leaning district is home to a lucrative oil region but also has some of the most impoverished communities in the U.S. The district has the highest percentage of Hispanic voters in New Mexico, which is the state with the highest percentage of Latino residents.

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