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Sat Feb 29, 2020, 01:14 AM

TX-28: Henry Cuellar's Constituents Are Restless, But Are They Ready for AOC Ally Jessica Cisneros?

With every passing day, Elsa Hull can feel Trump’s wall getting closer. In recent months, her neighbors who live downstream from her three-acre homestead in San Ygnacio on the Rio Grande, south of Laredo, have been receiving letters from the federal government requesting access to their land in order to conduct surveys for the border wall. Hull is angry, of course, at Trump: like many in this hot strip of borderland in South Texas, she thinks the wall is pointless and a danger to the delicate desert ecosystem she’s called home for nearly twenty years. But she’s also upset with her congressman, Henry Cuellar, an eight-term “Blue Dog” Democrat who has played a pivotal role in negotiating border security matters for Nancy Pelosi.

Cuellar is ideologically opposed to the wall, but he’s also a self-described dealmaker willing to put together what he believes is the best bargain for the Twenty-eighth Congressional District. During the Trump administration, he has twice voted to fund the wall, once after negotiating protection for sites like the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, and again in 2019 to avoid a government shutdown. Despite Cuellar’s efforts to minimize the damage, a 69-mile stretch of proposed border wall from the Laredo–Colombia Solidarity International Bridge to just south of San Ygnacio is now threatening Hull’s property. She said she took the 45-minute trip to Laredo to protest outside Cuellar’s office twice last year, and also called his office in Washington, D.C., in an attempt to speak with him, all to no avail. (A spokesperson for the congressman said they have no record of her requests for a meeting.)

“I just have no faith in him whatsoever,” said Hull. “His reasoning never made any sense to me. It felt like he was throwing his constituents under the bus and turning his back on them.” That’s one reason why she’s thrown her support behind Jessica Cisneros, a 26-year-old progressive challenger to Cuellar. Cisneros has drawn a ton of buzz as the first candidate recruited for the 2020 primaries by the Justice Democrats, a group affiliated with New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has also personally endorsed her.

It’s hard not to see the Cuellar-Cisneros race as a showdown between the establishment old guard and the AOC/Bernie wing of the party. Pelosi has endorsed and campaigned for Cuellar, who has one of the most conservative voting records in the House Democratic Caucus. Cuellar’s spokesperson, Colin Strother, uses the handle “Democratic Establishment” on Twitter and has labeled Cisneros an “unemployed Socialist.” Cuellar argues that Cisneros and AOC have fundamentally misunderstood CD-28. His team argues that Laredoans are much more conservative than residents of AOC’s Bronx/Queens district and aren’t that friendly toward sweeping left-wing proposals such as Medicare for All and the Green New Deal. Cuellar, they say, is a hometown boy who works hard for his constituents.


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Reply TX-28: Henry Cuellar's Constituents Are Restless, But Are They Ready for AOC Ally Jessica Cisneros? (Original post)
RandySF Feb 2020 OP
TexasTowelie Feb 2020 #1

Response to RandySF (Original post)

Sat Feb 29, 2020, 01:47 AM

1. I doubt it.

Since her campaign is being spearheaded by people from outside the district that will be resented by the locals. Lackland AFB is also in that district and I doubt that the military personnel are going to be sympathetic to a young immigration attorney. I keep looking for additional information at the local level and don't see much so I'll stick with my original prediction from months ago--Cuellar by 15% margin.

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