State Watch

Jayapal endorses Cisneros in Cuellar primary challenge

House Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) endorsed progressive candidate Jessica Cisneros in her primary challenge against incumbent Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) on Thursday.

Jayapal’s backing comes less than a week before the runoff between Cisneros and Cuellar in the state’s 28th Congressional District.

“At a time when our reproductive freedoms are under attack by an extremist Supreme Court, we must elect pro-choice candidates that will fight to make sure abortion remains the law of the land. Jessica Cisneros embodies the kind of progressive we need in Congress,” Jayapal told Politico.

Jayapal previously endorsed Cisneros during her 2020 primary challenge against Cuellar but has avoided getting involved in the primary this year until Thursday.

In March’s primary, Cuellar led Cisneros by less than 2 points, sending the race into a runoff.

The contentious primary has divided Democrats on Capitol Hill, with the party’s establishment flank backing Cuellar and progressives rallying around Cisneros. Earlier this month, House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) traveled to Texas to campaign for Clyburn. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) also reaffirmed her support for Cuellar last week.

Cisneros called on House leadership to retract their support for Cuellar earlier this month, citing his stance on abortion.

Cuellar is seen as a moderate Democrat on issues like border security and abortion. Cisneros has repeatedly knocked him for being too conservative and not representative of the district. Cuellar, on the other hand, has criticized Cisneros for being too progressive for the district.

Tags Henry Cuellar Jessica Cisneros Pramila Jayapal Pramila Jayapal progressives

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