Cuellar Defeats Challenger Backed By Sanders In Texas House Race

March 4, 2020 by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON – Rep. Henry Cuellar, a centrist House Democrat and longtime member of the fiscally-conservative Blue Dog Coalition, defeated a well-funded primary challenger backed by Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

The contest between Cuellar and Jessica Cisneros, a 26-year-old immigration attorney, was widely seen as a test of how moderates will fair in contests against members of the party’s liberal wing.

And like former Vice President Joe Biden, who as of Wednesday afternoon had been declared the winner in 10 of 14 Super Tuesday contests, Cuellar proved triumphant.

According to the Associated Press, which called the race in Texas’s 28th congressional district Wednesday morning, Cueller won with 52% of the vote, compared to 48% for Cisneros.

The challenger, who was backed by Justice Democrats, the group that helped propel now-Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., to victory in 2018, raised more than $1 million to wage her campaign and had received endorsements from Sanders, Warren and Ocasio-Cortez.

In the end, she could not overcome Cuellar’s war chest — an estimated $4.3 million, of which he spent close to $2.5 million, and his continued popularity in the district.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi both endorsed him and campaigned with him in the district.

But Cuellar took nothing for granted. In addition to investing in digital, newspaper, television and radio ads, his campaign also hired paid canvassers who knocked on an estimated 100,000 doors over the course of the race.

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