After a Republican super PAC in Texas posted a photo of Senate candidate MJ Hegar featuring her tattoos and calling her a “radical,” Hegar had a quick response on Twitter: the tattoos covered shrapnel wounds she received as an Air Force helicopter pilot in Afghanistan.
"A pro-Cornyn Super PAC is using a photo of my tattoos to make me seem ‘radical.’ That's pretty funny to me,” Hegar tweeted on Thursday, referring to her opponent in the race, longtime GOP Senator John Cornyn. “You think I'm ashamed of them? They cover my shrapnel wounds from when my helicopter was shot down. They're a mark of my service to our country. I'm damn proud of them.”
A pro-Cornyn Super PAC is using a photo of my tattoos to make me seem "radical." That's pretty funny to me.
You think I'm ashamed of them? They cover my shrapnel wounds from when my helicopter was shot down. They're a mark of my service to our country. I'm damn proud of them. pic.twitter.com/HrqX68ZzKa
— MJ Hegar (@mjhegar) September 24, 2020
The PAC, Texans for a Conservative Majority, is not directly affiliated with Senator Cornyn’s campaign. Cornyn’s office did not respond to requests for comment.
Hegar was awarded a Purple Heart after the Taliban shot down the medevac helicopter she was co-piloting, and she helped defend her fellow servicemembers despite injuries to her arm and leg.
“In Texas, foreign policy and national security is a kitchen-table issue because everyone has someone [they know] in uniform,” she told the Texas Tribune earlier this year.
Recent polling shows Hegar, who supports progressive policies like universal health care, trailing Cornyn by nearly 8 percent. Texas is increasingly being seen as a competitive state where Democrats have a chance to win in national races.