Democrat Rep. Henry Cuellar declared winner in Texas recount

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A Texas recount confirmed Democratic U.S. Representative Henry Cuellar was the winner of his primary race on Tuesday against progressive challenger Jessica Cisneros, who trailed by less than 200 votes after a runoff in May.

Cuellar, a nine-term congressman, defeated Cisneros by 289 votes, according to the results of the recount announced by the Texas Democratic Party.

The Associated Press had not previously declared a winner in the race because it was too close to call.

It’s the second time Cisneros, a 29-year-old immigration attorney who once interned for Cuellar, has lost a challenge to her former boss, whose moderate track record along Texas’s heavily Hispanic southern border has at times aligned him with Republicans. issues including abortion and guns.

This time, Cisneros came even closer than in 2020, when she lost by 4 percentage points behind national support from the party’s progressive leaders, including Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. They re-approved her in the rematch, along with abortion rights groups plunging into the race as the U.S. Supreme Court indicated that it was Roe v. Wade . could destroy

“By this small margin, it’s clear that we would have won without their aggressive interference in the lives of families in South Texas,” Cisneros said. “The biggest thing that keeps us from pursuing the change we deserve is their fear. Fear of change, fear of the future. But the only way you can defeat fear is with courage and determination that in the richest nation in the world, we deserve to thrive.”

Cuellar is one of the last anti-abortion Democrats in Congress and has also opposed the party for years for its support for gun rights and a tougher stance on immigration. But he still retained the support of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic leadership.

“To those who didn’t vote for me, as your congressman I will continue to work diligently for you in Washington,” Cuellar said. “While we disagree on some positions, we share common ground on many points to improve our communities and strengthen families.”

Cuellar will take on Republican Cassy Garcia in November in a district that remains favorable to Democrats, but the GOP has growing confidence in South Texas, an old Democratic stronghold, after Republican Mayra Flores flipped an open congressional seat on a special election Tuesday

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