Congressman Henry Cuellar Fends Off Progressive Challenger Jessica Cisneros

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Photo Illustrations by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Getty
Photo Illustrations by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Getty

Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) officially won his primary runoff election against progressive challenger Jessica Cisneros Tuesday by just 289 votes, according to the Associated Press—officially ending a months-long battle between warring factions of the Democratic party.

Cuellar, one of the most conservative Democrats in Congress, withstood an FBI raid on his home and campaign office, millions in spending for his opponent, and a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade that put his anti-abortion stance front and center.

Progressives, including high-profile figures like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), rallied around Cisneros, as did influential organizing groups like Justice Democrats.

Neither Cisneros nor Cuellar hit 50 percent in the original March 1 primary—sending them to a one-on-one runoff on May 24. Results for the runoff were delayed for weeks as mail ballots continued to be collected and a recount ultimately ensued. Cuellar already claimed victory in the race while Cisneros refused to concede until the recount was complete.

Ultimately, the Democratic establishment came to Cuellar’s side and his loyal voting base won out. Now, he’ll potentially extend his legacy in the district where his family's name has been an institution for years.

On Tuesday, Cisneros tweeted that “aggressive interference” from outside groups and the Democratic establishment took a toll on the race. “With this close of a margin, it’s clear that without their aggressive interference in the lives of South Texas families, we would have won,” she said.

This Conservative Dem Is Hoping His Name Will Save Him on Election Day

But the congressman’s electoral tribulations aren’t over yet.

Texas’ 28th district remains a GOP target this cycle as Republicans hope their 2020 gains with Latino voters could help flip the seat. Republican candidates for the district had a runoff of their own between former Trump appointee Cassy Garcia and Sandra Whitten, the 2020 Republican nominee for the district who lost to Cuellar last cycle. Garcia won and will now face Cuellar in the general election.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Get the Daily Beast's biggest scoops and scandals delivered right to your inbox. Sign up now.

Stay informed and gain unlimited access to the Daily Beast's unmatched reporting. Subscribe now.