Cuellar, Cisneros head to runoff in TX-28 Democratic primary

Incumbent Henry Cuellar and Jessica Cisneros advanced to a May 24 runoff in the Democratic primary for Texas’ 28th Congressional District. In the March 1 primary, Cuellar received 48.4% of the vote, followed by Cisneros with 46.9% and Tannya Benavides with 4.7%.

This year’s primary is a rematch of the 2020 primary, which Cuellar won outright with 51.8% of the vote to Cisneros’ 48.2%.

Cuellar, in Congress since 2005, is a member of the Blue Dog Coalition. He was the only Democrat in the U.S. House opposed to federal legislation legalizing abortion in a September 2021 floor vote. Cuellar’s campaign said he had used his position on the House Appropriations Committee to bring funding to the district for public education, healthcare services, small businesses, veteran’s programs, and immigration services.

Cisneros is an immigration attorney and supports Medicare For All, access to reproductive planning and contraception, a pathway to citizenship for immigrants, and the For The People Act as key policy goals. Cisneros criticized Cuellar for his abortion stance, his votes on federal immigration proposals, and his response to the coronavirus pandemic, citing the latter as a key reason she ran again.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus endorsed Cuellar. Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Justice Democrats endorsed Cisneros. The San Antonio Express-News Editorial Board, which backed Cuellar in the 2020 primary, endorsed Cisneros in the 2022 primary.