Joe Martinez, the Republican candidate for Travis County sheriff, highlighted the marriage history of Democratic opponent Sally Hernandez in a recent campaign mailer.
Under a section labeled “personal life,” the mailer mentions under Martinez’s name that he has been “married to one woman,” who has since died. Hernandez was “married six times to four different men,” the mailer reads.
Martinez said this information was relevant to his campaign because Hernandez could be seen as being “indecisive.”
“She married somebody three times,” Martinez said. “I was married to a woman for 43 years.”
Hernandez’s campaign manager, Jovita Pardo, said Hernandez’s marriages had nothing to do with her qualifications for the job.
“I am confident that Travis County voters will elect the most qualified and tested candidate — Sally Hernandez,” Pardo said in an email. “That said, those qualifications do not and should not involve an individual’s personal decisions unless they have negatively impacted their performance.
“If the Constable was ‘indecisive,’ a sexist dog whistle term, she would not have been able to positively turn around the Precinct Three Office or successfully beat a field of three opponents in the primary,” Pardo wrote.
The mailer also contrasts the two candidates’ experience, notes that Martinez is Hispanic and Hernandez is Anglo, and says that Martinez will continue the Travis County Jail’s collaboration with federal immigration authorities, an issue that has taken center stage during the sheriff’s race. Hernandez has said she won’t honor every request from Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to turn in suspected undocumented immigrants.