South Texas GOP officials take heat from parents of slain Uvalde children

By Mark Reagan and Naxiely Lopez-Puente | STAFF WRITERS

Visitors walk past a make-shift memorial at Robb Elementary School, Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022, in Uvalde, Texas. (Courtesy: Eric Gay/AP Photo)

The political director for Republican congressional candidate Monica De La Cruz and the Hidalgo County GOP chair fueled a Twitter war last week with the parents of two children killed in the Uvalde elementary school massacre.

It all appears to have started with a now-deleted tweet Jordan De La Garza posted on Aug. 31. The political director for De La Cruz, the Republican candidate for District 15, said the families affected by the tragedy already had what they needed.

“Why are you constantly bringing up Uvalde? Everyone has acknowledged its (sic) a tragedy and that the families have what they need. Stop beating a dead horse, change your narrative it’s annoying,” De La Garza wrote in response to someone’s tweet.

It’s not immediately clear to whom he was responding. The Monitor obtained a screenshot of the tweet on Monday, but it did not include the person De La Garza was addressing.

Gloria Cazares, however, saw De La Garza’s comment and replied to it.

“Hey Jordan De La Garza for Texas I am Jackie Cazares’s mom. She was one (of) the 21 victims that was massacred in her classroom on May 24, 2022,” Cazares wrote. “I’m glad your (sic) annoyed! I promise to keep annoying you until ‘The families have what they need.”

Jacklyn “Jackie” Cazares was one of 21 people killed when a gunman ran rampant with a semi-automatic rifle for more than an hour at Robb Elementary School on May 24.

De La Cruz’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

At one point, however, Hidalgo County GOP Chair Adrienne Peña Garza appeared to defend De La Garza on Twitter — though that tweet has also since been deleted.

“Stop using Uvalde as a political football & let those kids Rest In Peace. Tired of the horse & pony show,” Peña Garza wrote. “We were devastated as we always are for the loss of innocent human life. Picking on this young man because you don’t want @monicaforcongress to win. Don’t play w/me, it’s 6am.”

Gloria Cazares fired back.

“Good morning! It’s currently 12:44 am in Uvalde Texas. Is it too early? Should I wait until 6am?” Casarez responded. “That young man stated “the families have what they need” So you agree with him?”

At one point, another grieving family member stepped in.

“I’m another parent,” Brett Cross wrote. “I’m piggybacking off of @GloriaCazares82, why don’t you, @monica4congress and the young man in question come talk to us? See, just because you’re tired of seeing/hearing about our kids doesn’t mean we are going to stop. They were massacred!”

Cross was a father to Uziyah Sergio Garcia, another 10-year-old who was gunned down in Uvalde. CBS News previously reported that Garcia was a nephew to Cross and his wife, but Garcia lived with them, and they considered him to be their son.

Peña Garza did not respond to the invitation, nor did she respond to a request for comment Thursday.

The tweets, however, set off a firestorm on the social media platform, with hundreds of users responding and some asking for De La Cruz’s campaign to respond.

As of Thursday, she hadn’t, and De La Garza scrubbed his social media platforms.

The Trump-backed Republican is currently riding a red wave in South Texas and is the favorite to flip District 15, which extends from Hidalgo County all the way north to Seguin, in November.

The Texas Republican-controlled legislature recently redistricted District 15 to favor their party.

De La Cruz is facing Michelle Vallejo, a progressive Democrat, in November.

Vallejo’s campaign declined to comment.