New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is promoting a primary opponent against a Texas Democrat as she asks voters to remove the last pro-life Democrat in the House.
Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitter on Tuesday to encourage people to support Texas Democratic hopeful Jessica Cisneros in an upcoming runoff election against Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar for the state’s 28th District.
The congresswoman said “his challenger has a real shot, but needs help.”
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 3, 2022
Cuellar garnered just 48% of his district’s primary vote in March, forcing a runoff election against Cisneros on May 24.
“Today, we proved just how powerful our movement is and are ready to keep fighting for the future we deserve,” Cisneros said in a statement following the primary. “Together, we will take control back from Big Oil, private prisons, and Wall Street, and put it back where it belongs: with the people.”
Cisneros has repeatedly emphasized her support of “reproductive health care” in her battle against Cuellar.
“Today, Henry Cuellar was the only Democrat to vote against protecting human rights,” she wrote, regarding his vote against a House abortion bill. “His vote against #WHPA is a vote against reproductive health care for all South Texans.”
Today, Henry Cuellar was the only Democrat to vote against protecting human rights.
His vote against #WHPA is a vote against reproductive health care for all South Texans.
It is clear where he stands: directly against our reproductive freedom and our health care. pic.twitter.com/6CLprVopZU
— Jessica Cisneros (@JCisnerosTX) September 24, 2021
The Republican side will also face a runoff between the party’s two top candidates. Cassy Garcia, a former staff member of Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, garnered just over 23% of the primary vote. Republican Sandra Whitten was second, with 18.2% of the district’s GOP vote.
The district leans Democrat, meaning that the winner of the Democrat runoff will have the advantage in the November midterm election.
“Cuellar was the only Democrat to vote against the Women’s Health Protection Act, which passed the House in September and would repeal all abortion restrictions nationwide. Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) was his party’s lone ‘no’ vote when the bill on Monday failed to advance in the Senate,” the Washington Free Beacon reported in March.
The Texas congressman was also in recent headlines after the FBI raided his home in January over a potential investigation. Cuellar was reportedly not the focus of the investigation and has not faced charges.
In addition, Cuellar has been vocal in his criticisms of the White House regarding the Biden administration’s open border policies that have impacted his district.
In September, Cuellar pushed back against criticism of U.S. Border Patrol agents who rode on horseback to force Haitian asylum seekers out of Del Rio, Texas, in July.
Cueller disputed false narratives that emerged from an inaccurate news report claiming an agent swung a whip while charging his horse toward the migrants.
Texas Democrat @RepCuellar corrects CNN host who’s upset about border agents on horseback: “The picture you’re talking about, at least the one I have seen, is the rein, the rein of the horse … What are they supposed to do, just stand there and let everybody come in?" pic.twitter.com/csFE4gwkTm
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) September 21, 2021
In July, Cuellar also angered many Democrats when he joined with South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham in a letter with criticisms against Biden’s border crisis.
The bipartisan letter called for a “border czar” to address the surging number of migrants.
Graham-Cuellar Letter pic.twitter.com/J8IyrdEhi5
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) July 30, 2021