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In a blow to left-leaning Democrats, Texas congressional candidate Jessica Cisneros — who was endorsed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, DN.Y. – lost in a recount for his party’s nomination.
Incumbent Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, took on Justice Democrat-endorsed Cisneros in a tight runoff that was too close to call for weeks, leading to Cisneros’ request for a recount, which concluded on Tuesday that Cuellar had not only won, but had a few more votes than originally announced.
“As I said on election night, ‘the margin will hold’ – and it has not only held but increased,” Cuellar said in a statement Tuesday. The Texas Democratic Party recount committee found that Cuellar won by 289 votes.
Cuellar said he appreciated the efforts of “election workers who sacrificed their time to once again confirm that the voice of every voter in the 28th District was heard.”
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“To those who did not vote for me, as a member of Congress, I will continue to work diligently for you in Washington. Although we may differ on some positions, we share common ground on many issues. to improve our communities and strengthen families,” Cuellar said. said.
“We always knew it was an uphill battle,” Cisneros said in a statement conceded to Cuellar. She blamed “a corrupt political machine, Republican-funded Super PACs, the Koch brothers, private prisons, Big Oil, the Chamber of Commerce, black money groups, Big Pharma and almost the entire Party establishment. Democrat in Washington” for opposing her.
She vowed to continue organizing to elect more left-leaning Democrats in Texas and said she would work to support her party in November’s midterm elections.
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“We will continue to fight to create a more progressive and accountable Democratic Party this year and work to make Texas blue in November,” Cisneros said.
“We are grateful to Jessica Cisneros for the positive campaign she has spearheaded — highlighting the issues that truly affect South Texas,” Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa said in a statement on Tuesday. “We all know she will continue to fight for South Texans as we rally behind our candidate, Henry Cuellar.”
After the May 24 primary runoff, Cuellar led Cisneros by 177 votes to secure the Democratic nomination and asserted confidently that the margin would hold. Cisneros, however, refused at the time to concede the race.
Cuellar, who served in Congress since 2005, praised Cisneros for “a hard-fought race” in a statement just before the second-round results were certified.
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Cuellar is one of the last remaining pro-life Democrats in the House and has criticized the Biden administration’s handling of the southern border crisis and rising inflation and promised to fight to protect oil and gas jobs and to reduce taxes and the cost of health care.
Cisneros ran on a platform of progressive politics, promoting a pro-union message.
The race between Cuellar and Cisneros drew more attention after a leaked Supreme Court opinion said Roe v. Wade could be overturned, placing abortion access in state legislatures instead of having the practice protected by the judiciary as a constitutional right.
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Cuellar will face the Republican candidate Cassy Garcia in November as the GOP hopes to regain a majority in the House.
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