Progressive Jessica Cisneros is requesting a recount in the primary runoff election against nine-term Democratic U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar that saw the candidates separated by fewer than 300 votes, according to the Democratic Party.
“Our movement was never just about one politician — it was about taking on an unjust system that rewards corruption and corporate profits at the expense of the needs of working people,” Cisneros said in a statement to the Texas Tribune that she retweeted to her followers. “Our community isn’t done fighting, we are filing for a recount. With just under 0.6 percent of the vote symbolizing such stark differences for the future in South Texas, I owe it to our community to see this through to the end.”
According to an Associated Press count, Cuellar was leading Cisneros by 187 votes, or 0.4 percentage points, out of 45,429 ballots as of Monday night. Cisneros, a 29-year-old immigration attorney, forced the runoff in March after she came within 1,000 votes of Cuellar. She also ran against him in 2020, losing by 4 percentage points. She is a former intern in his Washington office. Cisneros has gained the backing of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Cuellar is one of the last anti-abortion Democrats in Congress. He was endorsed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn and others. His race against Cisneros was fraught, tinged by the leaked Supreme Court opinion that would abolish Roe v. Wade, as well as an FBI raid on his house and office early this year for reasons still unclear.
“My opponent has every legal right to call for a recount though she had previously stated that she ‘wont stop fighting until every vote has been counted.’ Well every vote has been counted,” Cuellar said in a statement. “She has no path to victory and will not gain 281 votes. I welcome this process as it will only further verify our victory.”
The winner of Texas’ race will face Cassy Garcia, an ex-staffer for U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, who won the Republican runoff for the seat.