AOC calls Cuellar ‘pro-NRA’ after he declared victory in Texas primary against Cisneros
Texas Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar has declared victory over his progressive challenger Jessica Cisneros, and with all precincts reporting the incumbent appears poised to win by the slimmest of leads, though the race is too close to call.
By early Wednesday morning only 177 votes separated Cuellar and Cisneros, 22,694 and 22,517 in the unofficial final tally. Cisneros will likely demand a recount.
The race had gone to a runoff after the March primary where Cuellar led but did not score a plurality of the votes.
‘This primary was a hard-fought battle and I’d like to thank my supporters, who were instrumental in this victory, moving one step closer to a 10th term in the House of Representatives.
The 17-year congressman was able to overcome the bad press of an FBI raid on his Laredo home in January as part of an investigation into ties between U.S. businessmen and Azerbaijan, a move his challenger knocked him for. The lawmaker denied wrongdoing.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who backed his challenger, tore into leadership and her colleagues for the ‘utter failure’ of sending Cuellar back to Congress.
‘On the day of a mass shooting and weeks after news of Roe, Democratic Party leadership rallied for a pro-NRA, anti-choice incumbent under investigation in a close primary. Robocalls, fundraisers, all of it. Accountability isn’t partisan,’ the New York Democrat wrote on Twitter. ‘This was an utter failure of leadership.’
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who backed Jessica Cisneros, tore into leadership and her colleagues for the ‘utter failure’ of sending Cuellar back to Congress
Cuellar looks poised for victory but the race is too close to call as only 177 votes separate him from his challenger
‘Congress should not be an incumbent protection racket and sadly it is treated as such by far too many,’ she added. ‘The fact is those who fail their communities deserve to lose. They don’t need rescuing from powerful leaders who state they fight for gun safety, the right to choose, and more.’
Cuellar, one of the last anti-choice Democrats who frequently knocks President Biden on the border and scored an ‘A’ rating from the NRA, had Democratic leadership behind him, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, who flew into San Antonio earlier this month to rally for Cuellar.
Clyburn told reporters at the rally: ‘This whole notion that you’ve got to agree with everybody on everything is pretty sophomoric to me.’
Some analysts had expected the leak of the Supreme Court’s draft decision overturning Roe v. Wade to mobilize Democrats at the ballot box. House Leadership has a tradition of standing behind incumbents, and justified their support of Cuellar by noting that his ‘no’ vote on codifying Roe did not prevent the Women’s Health Protection Act from passing the House.
‘I don’t believe in abortion, but at the same time, I don’t believe that it should be banned completely… At the same time, I don’t think we should be allowing partial birth or late term abortions,’ Cuellar said recently, explaining his views to Texas Public Radio. He added that as a Catholic he cannot support the practice, but believes there should be exceptions.
On Tuesday a gunman opened fire at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, killing 19 children and two teachers.
Cisneros is pictured above at a watch party, standing next to her family as she delivers remarks
The gunman, Salvador Ramos, had purchased two firearms just days ago immediately after his 18th birthday. He paraded the AR-style rifles on social media, including in ominous messages sent hours before the killing started.
In Texas, people who are 18 and older are legally allowed to buy long guns, such as rifles and shotguns. They must be 21 to buy handguns.
Republicans are keeping eyes on Texas’ 28th district and have identified it as one of five in Texas they could flip from blue to red come November.
Cassie Garcia, a former staffer of Sen. Ted Cruz, cinched the GOP nomination in the district over Sandra Whitten, a pre school director and the last GOP nominee for the seat.
Meanwhile, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton was able to overcome a primary challenge from Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush. Paxton, who had Trump’s endorsement, achieved the win despite facing a slew of legal problems, including an FBI investigation and a trial on securities fraud charges.