Texas Primary: Democrat Rep. Henry Cuellar, Socialist Jessica Cisneros Will Face Off in Runoff Election

FILE - U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, right, attends a rally with Democratic Congress
AP Photo/Eric Gay

Democrat Rep. Henry Cuellar and socialist Jessica Cisneros will face off in a May runoff for Texas’s 28th Congressional District after neither candidate got more than 50 percent of the vote needed to win outright Tuesday night.

With Cuellar and his socialist challenger Cisneros both unable to garner more than 50 percent of the vote, they will go head-to-head in a May runoff to see who will move on to the November general election.

The runoff with surely be one of the most heated in Texas, as Cuellar has been through a slew of problems in recent months as Cisneros picked up many endorsements from Cuellar’s far-left colleagues, including the so-called Squad member Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).

If Cisneros successfully topples Cuellar in the runoff, it would trigger a once-in-a-generation shakeup for border district politics.

In this Sept. 13, 2017 file photo, Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, speaks with reporters outside the West Wing after a bipartisan meeting with then-President Donald Trump at the White House, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

In this September 13, 2017 file photo, Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, speaks with reporters outside the West Wing after a bipartisan meeting with then-President Donald Trump at the White House, in Washington, DC. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

Leading up to the election, Cuellar — who recently had a “court-authorized” FBI raid of his house and has insisted he did nothing wrong but will cooperate with the authorities in the investigation — saw droves of far-left Democrats lining up to back Cisneros instead of himself, in addition to a pro-Cuellar pulling a TV ad buy nearly a week ahead of its final run date.

Some of the far-left Democrats that endorsed the challenger even descended on the district before Tuesday to show their face, such as Ocasio-Cortez, hoping Cisneros successfully primary Cuellar and joins the ranks of far-left members in Congress.

However, even though Cisneros brushed off those attacks, Cuellar, ahead of Tuesday’s primary, tried to smear her using some of the same tactics as the national GOP has used to smear liberals like Cisneros — warning against a rising left that wants to defund the police and slash border enforcement.

Despite all of this, many Republicans have argued that if Cisneros wins, the district would indeed be defeated by the Republican challenger due to her being too far-left in a year where Republicans appear to have the upper hand.

The University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, which keeps tabs on the vulnerability of congressional districts, moved the district from a “Likely Democratic” district to a “Leans Democratic” district. This indicated that not only Cuellar is in trouble, but the district is more vulnerable and can be won by a Republican opponent.

The analysis from the Center for Politics suggested that Cuellar’s investigation, even though he doubled down and claimed to have “committed no wrongdoing,” puts him in a weaker stage, and if Cisneros were to primary him successfully, she would be a weaker candidate against a Republican.

In response to the runoff, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), the House Republican-aligned campaign arm, released a statement indicating that the Republican nominee would surely win against whoever the Democrat nominee is in November.

“This is a nightmare for Democrats because they have no good options. Whoever wins this runoff will lose to the Republican nominee in November,” stated NRCC Spokeswoman Torunn Sinclair.

Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter.


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