The lone pro-life House Democrat is in the crosshairs of the ultra-progressive “Squad.”
Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) faces a runoff election against Jessica Cisneros after Tuesday’s first primary in the nation held in Texas. Cisneros is a 28-year-old liberal immigration attorney who ran against Cuellar in the 2020 Democratic primary. She lost that race by fewer than 3,000 votes.
Cuellar garnered only 48 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s primary as Cisneros received 47 percent. Because neither candidate received most of the votes cast, they will go head-to-head in a runoff election on May 24.
Last September, Cuellar was the lone House Democrat to vote against the Women’s Health Protection Act. The bill is designed to repeal all restrictions on abortion everywhere in the county. It passed the House by a vote of 218-211 with no Republican votes.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) brought the bill before the Senate on Monday where it would have required 60 votes to advance. The measure failed there by a 46-48 vote with six senators abstaining. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) was the only Democrat in the Senate to affirmatively vote against the bill.
Cisneros has campaigned by attacking Cuellar’s pro-life positions and has stressed her support for unrestricted access to abortions. Several progressive lawmakers have publicly endorsed her, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
The FBI raided Cuellar’s campaign office and his home in January as part of an investigation into connections of several American citizens with the former Soviet state Azerbaijan. There is no official statement about whether Cueller is implicated personally in the investigation and denied any wrongdoing.
Cuellar has represented the 28th congressional district of Texas since 2005. The district runs from the eastern and southern parts of the San Antonio metropolitan area to an extended portion of the southern border at the Rio Grande. He has earned a reputation as a moderate or conservative Democrat on several critical issues and abortion, including border security and Second Amendment rights.