U.S. Rep Joaquin Castro, who recently sparked nationwide controversy by tweeting the names of prominent San Antonians who contribute to President Trump's re-election campaign, has picked up a Republican opponent in his expected bid for re-election next year, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
A most unconventional Republican, to say the least.
Mauro Garza is openly gay and an LGBTQ rights advocate, he is Hispanic, he is a huge supporter of President Trump, and he is the owner of Pegasus, a prominent gay nightclub on North Main, which is routinely rated one of the top LGBT establishments in the country.
Garza, who ran unsuccessfully for the nomination to the District 21 Congressional seat in 2018, said he was actually prompted to challenge Castro by the 'doxxing' of Trump supporters by the Congressman.
"No one has a right to incite violence against others or promote the destruction of private property held by others simply because of passionate political disagreements." Garza said. "Freedom cannot survive in an environment where one side thinks the other side is evil and not merely incorrect."
In a video announcing his candidacy, Garza cited his support for Trump, and said he wants to be part of the effort to 'make America great again.'
"People come here by the millions," he said in the video, "because they know that enough of us still believe in the greatness of America's potential."
Not surprisingly, Garza is facing the same sort of blowback from many in the LGBTQ community that Castro meted out in his 'enemies list' of Trump backers. A group calling itself 'Protest the Peg' is calling for a boycott of Garza's night club, and claims that he has 'celebrated anti-LGBTQ mouthpieces such as Ted Cruz and Karen Pence.'
Garza says comments and threats like that are a big reason he's running. He says he is not trying to silence any opponent, like his opponents are trying to silence him.
"Conversations become impossible when one party believes that the other party does not even have a right to exist," he said.
"No child should grow up in an America where individuals are afraid to voice an opinion.
Let’s restore peaceful public discourse where more than one person is able to engage in a horizontal conversation without a mentality that is “us-against-them” or “black-and-white.”
PHOTO COURTESY: MAURO GARZA CAMPAIGN