AUSTIN (KXAN) — A congressional primary runoff race in south Texas is getting national attention. The Democratic runoff for U.S. House District 28 features two candidates who have sharply differing views on abortion.
Nine-term Congressman Henry Cuellar of Laredo is the only House Democrat who voted against the Women’s Health Protection Act, which aimed to codify Roe v. Wade. The legislation cleared the House, but failed to pass in the Senate.
Cuellar faces progressive challenger Jessica Cisneros in the runoff. She has long been critical of her opponent’s record on abortion rights, but that criticism has been amplified since the leaked draft opinion showing the U.S. Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade.
“I am calling on Democratic Party leadership to withdraw their support of Henry Cuellar who is the last anti-choice Democrat in the House,” Cisneros said in a statement after the leak.
Cuellar ended the night with 22,692 votes (50.19%) while Cisneros received 22,517 (49.81%). Cisneros has asked for a recount.
Cisneros has backing from other progressives, including Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Cuellar received a show of support from House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn of South Carolina.
Cisneros, who once served as an intern for Cuellar, also challenged him in the 2020 primary. Cuellar won that race with 52% of the vote.
Republicans also still need to decide who will be on the ballot for their party in November. Cassy Garcia faced Sandra Whitten in the GOP primary runoff.
Garcia won with 8,483 votes (56.96%) and Whitten got 6,410 (43.04%).