Border Congressman Cuellar beats challenger in closer-than-expected Democratic primary


Jessica Cisneros, left, is running for Texas’ 28th Congressional District. (Courtesy Photo) U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, is seen in McAllen in August 2019. (Border Report File Photo/Sandra Sanchez)

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar has defeated a 26-year-old immigration attorney who mounted a closer-than-expected primary challenge for his South Texas district.

Cuellar won Tuesday’s primary election over Jessica Cisneros, who once interned for him and accused the longtime moderate of being out of touch with his border district.

Bernie Sanders endorses challenger in contentious South Texas primary

Cisneros was backed by Justice Democrats, the progressive group allied with Bernie Sanders that helped now U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez win a shocking primary upset two years ago.

Cuellar and his family are fixtures in Laredo, the border city that anchors the district. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi traveled to Laredo a week before the primary to support Cuellar, who sits on the powerful House Appropriations Committee.

Cuellar originally dismissed Cisneros as a noisy outsider but toward the end ran TV ads as the threat of her candidacy became clear.

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