Republican congressional candidate Tanya Contreras Wheeless clapped back at Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) after he accused her of only using her Hispanic surname to gain favor with voters.
Responding to the controversy involving First Lady Jill Biden’s racially insensitive remarks regarding Hispanics, Contreras Wheeless sent out a tweet stating that she is a “proud, conservative Latina.”
Gallego replied to Contreras Wheeless by suggesting that she is only using her Hispanic surname, “Contreras,” because she is running for political office.
“In the years I have known of you in Arizona, it wasn’t until you ran for office that you added Contreras. Glad you are proud Latina now hope it will stay after you lose,” the Arizona Democrat tweeted.
In the years I have known of you in Arizona it wasn’t until you ran for office that you added Contreras. Glad you are proud Latina now hope it will stay after you lose.
FYI… google Tanya Wheelers see how often Contreras comes up prior to her running. https://t.co/FUGHEMNiPG
— Ruben Gallego (@RubenGallego) July 13, 2022
Gallego even went on to use Spanish to claim that the Republican candidate only becomes a Latina when it is convenient for her.
“Tanya is Latina, Cuando le conviene,” Gallego wrote.
The Arizona Democrat’s attacks against Contreras are particularly confusing because the two Arizona politicians aren’t even running for the same congressional district.
Responding to the attacks against her, Contreras Wheeless released a statement via her campaign on Wednesday condemning Gallego for making “sexist and racist” claims.
“Ruben Gallego’s claim that I am not sufficiently Latina because I don’t always use my fill name is disappointing, but not surprising,” she wrote.
“Many women change their last name when they get married, but that doesn’t change who they are or where they came from,” Contreras Wheeless continued. “Attacking me for using my married name is sexist and racist. These gross attacks have sadly become too frequent in our political discourse.”
The Republican candidate also noted that Gallego meant for his “smear” to ruin her day — but the “mission failed.”
“I am proud of my heritage and who I am — today and every day. I will use my name when and how I want,” Contreras Wheeless stated. “I am proud to be part Mexican, party Canadian, and 100% America, and I’ll never stop fighting for the American dream.”
Contreras Wheeless’ campaign website says that she is the granddaughter of Mexican immigrants.
She is running in Arizona’s redrawn 4th Congressional District against several other Republican candidates in the primary election on August 2.