Rep. Henry Cuellar from Texas, a conservative Democrat, declared victory in a race that was otherwise deemed close to call. Rep. Alexandria OcasioCortez (D–New York) rebuked top Democrats because she supported the candidate over progressive challenger Jessica Cisneros.
Cuellar claimed that he won by a wide margin of 177 votesTuesday at midnight no major news organizationsThe race has not been called yet. The race is close enough for Cisneros to request a recount, and there are still mail-in ballots that haven’t been counted.
Though Cuellar has won over Cisneros before in 2020, Cuellar’s campaign is weaker this time around. Cuellar is the only anti-abortion Democrat on the House. His house and office were raided by the FBI in January As part of a federal probePotentially involving questions about his ties with AzerbaijanHe denied it, however. He is also the only Democrat in the House with an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association (NRA).
“On the day of a mass shooting and weeks after news of RoeThe Democratic Party leadership rallied behind a pro-NRA, pro-choice incumbent that was under investigation in a close primary. Robocalls, fundraisers, all of it,” Ocasio-Cortez saidIn a Twitter thread, Tuesday night, the author referred to the tragic school shooting in Texas. “Accountability isn’t partisan. This was an utter failure of leadership.”
Ocasio-Cortez continued, saying that “Congress should not be an incumbent protection racket,” and that “those who fail their communities deserve to lose.” She said that, if Cuellar does eventually win in a close race, “leadership’s decision to go to the mat for a pro-NRA incumbent will be the reason why.”
Although Cuellar stood in stark opposition to abortion access — one of voters’ top priorities in this fall’s midterm elections — he still had the unflinching supportTop Democrats such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Majority Leader Steny Hopyer (Maryland), and House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn(South Carolina) are represented.
“The last time leadership waded in to save [Cuellar], he thanked them by obstructing the party’s signature legislation, paving the way for the child tax credit to collapse and imperiling millions while taking a victory lap for it,” Ocasio-Cortez concludedReferring to Cuellar’s efforts to block Democrats’ Build Back Better Act last year. “We can’t afford to reward such acts. We can do better.”
Contrary to many Democrats, the Texas representative is also anti-immigration. Fox NewsIn April, he complained that the White House was “listening to immigration activists” on the issue of Title 42 is repealedTrump-era order, which Biden and Trump invoked to deport approximately 2 million asylum seekers under pretext of protecting the public health. Cuellar’s conservatism led Cisneros, an immigration lawyer, to label him as the “[Sen.] Joe Manchin of the House” on the campaign trail.
In an identical race in Oregon, Democrats also showed their support for the conservative side of their party. President Joe Biden endorsedKurt Schrader is a conservative Democrat Representative. Designed to destroy Biden’s agenda in Congress last year.
Cisneros ran, in contrast. a strictly pro-abortionPlatform with support key progressive issues like Medicare for All. Top progressives in Congress include the Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Washington)Ocasio-Cortez, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), voted against the party and endorsed Cisneros.