Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) is the last anti-abortion Democrat in the House, and the 17-year incumbent is the closest he’s ever been to losing his seat. Progressive immigration attorney Jessica Cisneros came within 1,000 votes of him in the March primary election, which forced a runoff since no one earned 50 percent of the vote. The election for the 28th District, which includes the border city of Laredo, will be held on Tuesday. (The district includes Starr County, where a prosecutor arrested a woman for allegedly self-managing her abortion before dropping the charges after public outcry.)
Cisneros has raised more money than Cuellar—$4.4 million versus $3 million—and while Cuellar has been riddled with scandals, he somehow still has a shot in the runoff thanks to the continued support of party leadership including Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) and super PACs dumping obscene amounts of money on pro-Cuellar ads.
Here is a very incomplete list of Cuellar’s various scandals, shady dealings, and disgusting stances:
- The FBI raided Cuellar’s home and campaign office in January 2022, reportedly as part of an investigation into financial ties between the U.S. and Azerbaijan; the investigation is still ongoing.
- LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman’s PAC ran an ad saying Cuellar “opposes a ban on abortion,” when in fact he supports a near-total ban as long as it has exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother.
- Sure looks like the campaign got a bunch of bots to tweet in support of Cuellar before the March election.
- Cuellar fired a staffer at 28 weeks pregnant in 2018, she had a stillbirth, then sued his office for discrimination. As Jezebel reported earlier this month, Cuellar tried to discredit the woman by asking other staffers to submit letters about her work performance after he fired her.
- A Cuellar campaign aide created a dark-money group that has run ads attacking Cisneros.
Cisneros, meanwhile, is not under federal investigation, has not been sued for pregnancy discrimination, and has been endorsed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Planned Parenthood Action Fund, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and the Sunrise Movement.
Get his ass, Jessica.