The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is openly rejecting a Democratic candidate in Texas, releasing research Thursday night that accused her of being a “Washington insider” just over one week before the primary.
Laura Moser is running in the crowded March 6 primary in the Houston-based 7th District. Democrats are targeting nine-term Republican incumbent John Culberson’s suburban seat this year, after Hillary Clinton carried the district by 1 point in 2016.
Campaign committees regularly conduct research on their own party’s candidates, but they rarely release it. Thursday’s research drop suggests national Democrats think Moser would not be able to win in November should she win the nomination.
“We are working every day at the DCCC to win the 24 seats that we need to take back the House,” DCCC communications director Meredith Kelly said Friday. “And we believe that voters who have been organizing for more than a year to hold their Republican representative accountable, they deserve to have a fighting chance in November.”
“And towards that goal we’ve always noted that we may need to get involved in primaries if there’s a general election candidate that is disqualified and would not allow them to have that fighting chance to flip the district,” Kelly said.
The information posted on the DCCC website details how Moser “is not going to change Washington.”
The committee said Moser, who recently moved back to Texas, wrote in a November 2014 magazine article that “she’d rather have her ‘teeth pulled without anesthesia’ than live in Texas.” (In the story written for Washingtonian magazine, Moser was more specific, referring to her grandparents’ hometown of Paris, Texas, which is not located in the 7th District.)
The DCCC also alleged that Moser’s husband has benefited from her campaign spending, since he works at Revolution Messaging, which her campaign has paid for online consulting and advertising.
Moser criticized the move in a Thursday night statement.
“We’re used to tough talk here in Texas, but it’s disappointing to hear it from Washington operatives trying to tell Texans what to do,” Moser said. “These kind of tactics are why people hate politics.”
“The days when party bosses picked the candidates in their smoke filled rooms are over,” she said. “DC needs to let Houston vote.”
Moser is one of seven Democrats vying for the party’s nomination. If no candidate garners a majority of the vote next month, the top two will advance to a May 22 runoff.
The other top candidates in the race include nonprofit director Alex Triantaphyllis, who had raised $927,000 as of Dec. 31, and lawyer Lizzie Pannill Fletcher, who had raised $757,000. Fletcher has been endorsed by EMILY’s List, which backs female Democratic candidates who support abortion rights.
Moser has been been close behind in fundraising, raking in $617,000 through Dec. 31, according to Federal Election Commission documents.
A former journalist and writer, she founded “Daily Action,” a text messaging service that is described on its website as “resisting extremism in America, one phone call at a time.”
Liberal groups who have backed Moser criticized the DCCC for openly taking sides in a primary and going after a Democratic candidate.
“The idea that some faceless hacks are calling themselves Democrats while sitting in a DC office throwing bombs at a pro-choice Democratic woman in support of a lawyer who built her career at a law firm for union-busters is precisely why Democrats lost over 1,000 elected offices over the last decade,” said Annie Weinberg, the electoral director at Democracy for America.
Watch: Three Things to Watch in Texas' Upcoming Primaries