Tensions flared between supporters of Robert “Beto” O’Rourke and opposition media personalities at a Dallas rally on election day.
The gubernatorial challenger spent the day traveling to various polling locations across Texas to rally and meet supporters, stopping at Fretz Park Branch Library in the afternoon.
“Are you all ready to win? Are you ready to live in a state where every woman can make their own decisions? A state where we put the lives of our kids over the interests of the NRA?” the candidate asked the crowd.
“We are going to get this done,” O’Rourke exclaimed.
Roughly 75 people attended the rally. Others just walked by on their way to vote. Supporters of local Republican candidates, including Lauren Davis and Earl Jackson, were also at the polling location, holding signs and speaking to those who stopped to ask about the candidates.
Also in attendance were several well-known local media figures and provocateurs, including Alex Stein, Sara Gonzales, and Tayler Hansen. They and others tried to ask O’Rourke questions about his various policy positions, including his stance on medical gender transitioning for minors.
“We are just out here … questioning people on their position, and it seems like not a lot of them want to answer,” Hansen explained to The Dallas Express. “The biggest position that we’ve been kinda pushing back on is the mutilation of children … providing double mastectomies and hormone blockers to these children because Beto has come out in staunch support of that.”
The crowd of O’Rourke supporters began chanting several times to drown out Hansen and the others, and the candidate refused to acknowledge them. Some event attendees even appeared to get aggressive with the local conservative media figures, but law enforcement officers were on-site in case things escalated.
At a different O’Rourke rally, Hansen was forcefully removed from the event by attendees after asking the candidate questions. He was even knocked to the ground after being pushed backward over a wheelchair-bound attendee sitting behind him.
When asked if he had to deal with anyone getting aggressive at the election day event, Hansen told The Dallas Express, “A mean a little bit, but not nearly as much as when they dragged me over a woman in a wheelchair just for asking him a question.”
“But overall, it’s not as violent as usually, his rallies tend to be,” Hansen continued referring to the current event.
Shortly afterward, an O’Rourke supporter tried to forcefully take some of Hansen’s equipment from him before the police intervened and escorted the person away from the rally. The officers asked if Hansen wanted to press charges, but he declined.
One pro-O’Rourke attendee, Cassandra Whittington, told The Dallas Express that she thought the conservatives were the ones at fault. “I think these guys are thugs that are walking around in a … rally and walking up in people’s faces and being very aggressive. They are thugs,” she claimed.
Other Democratic politicians also attended, including Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, Dallas City Councilman Adam Bazaldua, Texas Congressman Marc Veasey, and Andrew Sommerman, a candidate for Dallas County Commissioners Court.
Bazaldua told The Dallas Express, “I just encourage everybody to get out and vote no matter who you’re for.”
Sommerman expressed to The Dallas Express that the day was going “very good” and that he was “feeling happy” and predicted “victory.”
When asked what his plans were for Wednesday, win or lose, he said, “Well, sleeping in, quite frankly, and then after that, just getting the office ready.”
The Dallas Express attempted to ask Jenkins about recently reported allegations of unlawful activity – such as sending $450,000 to a shell company, inducing local police officers to alter their testimony in court, and attempting to bribe an employee – but the judge declined to comment.
While Jenkins was walking away, Gonzales also questioned him about his apparent arrest for breaking into women’s bedrooms in college while wearing “dark makeup on their faces to make them look like black people,” as reported by The Dallas Express.
After the rally, Jenkins shared on Twitter that there were plenty of supporters and “a few trolls” at the event.
One of the attendees, Nicolas Quintanilla of the Latino Votes Project, expressed frustration with the back-and-forth between O’Rourke supporters and detractors.
“This is crazy. You have people shouting, you have people screaming, you have people hitting other people … if you support a candidate, that’s fine, but let’s keep everything peaceful,” Quintanilla told The Dallas Express.
He went on to explain, “I’m out here to send a message to Democrats that the Latino vote is not automatic. That if they want our vote, they have to bust their ass for our vote. If they want our vote, they have to invest money into our vote.”
“Republicans are investing in the Latino voter,” Quintanilla continued, “and if Republicans keep investing in the Latino vote, they’re going to control Dallas County in a few years. Dallas County is going to switch from blue to red.”
Beto the LOSER, with his LOSER supporters!
Funny. When the press asks tough questions to their candidates suddenly journalism is not ok. Dallas County goes from Blue to Red says Quintanilla? I hope he’s right but I highly doubt the latino community could actually accomplish such a thing.
I found it strange that O’Rouke says women have the right to kill/abort children , but that Abbott was guilty of not keeping school aged kids from being killed ! Which is worse ?
Whoever wrote this is lying. There were easily 500 people there all just excited. These protesters came right into the crowd and tried to disrupt the rally. Beto was nice to them. The crowd just chanted “Beto, Beto” louder. Beto stayed and took pictures with everyone and there was no fighting
Would you spout the same rhetoric when the leftists crazies interrupt Trump and conservative rallies? I really doubt it. You can’t have double standards and be believable.
we need to keep this baby killing out of Texas, so God will continue to bless us….kick the democrats out of texas..
Democrats work for the Devil….with their baby killing, and gay support