Cuellar wins TX-28 Democratic runoff following recount

On June 21, the Texas Democratic Party shared unofficial results from a recount of the primary runoff in Texas’ 28th Congressional District indicating that U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D) had defeated challenger Jessica Cisneros. Cuellar defeated Cisneros by 289 votes. Initial results from the May 24 primary runoff showed Cuellar winning by 187 votes.

The candidates disagreed on abortion policy. This race occurred alongside several events related to abortion policy, including the passage of Texas Senate Bill 8, a vote in the U.S. House to legalize abortion nationally, and the leak of a draft opinion for a case related to abortion pending before the Supreme Court of the United States.

Cuellar, in Congress since 2005, was a member of the Blue Dog Coalition at the time of the primary. He was the only House Democrat to vote against a bill in 2021 that would have codified the right to abortion in federal law. Cuellar’s campaign said his membership on the House Appropriations Committee helped fund education, healthcare, small businesses, veterans, and immigration services programs in the district.

At the time of the primary, Cisneros was an immigration attorney and supported Medicare For All, legal access to abortion, a pathway to citizenship for immigrants, and the For The People Act. 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.