Progressive Texas congressional candidate Jessica Cisneros, who was endorsed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, conceded to incumbent Rep. Henry Cuellar in the Democratic primary runoff election.
Cuellar, a moderate anti-abortion Democrat, had declared victory over his leftist challenger in the May runoff, however the race was too close to call for weeks after Cisneros requested a recount. On Tuesday, election officials concluded Cuellar won with a few more votes than initially reported.
“As I said on election night, ‘the margin will hold’ — and it has not only held but grown,” Cuellar said in a statement.
“To those who did not vote for me, as your Congressman I will continue to work diligently for you in Washington. While we may differ on certain positions, we share a common ground on many issues to improve our communities and strengthen families,” Cuellar said.
“It is now time to come together and win the General Election in November,” he added.
According to the Democratic Party, Cuellar won the 28th congressional district by 289 votes following the recount.
In her concession statement, Cisneros blamed her loss on “a corrupt political machine, Republican-funded Super PACs, the Koch brothers, private prisons, Big Oil, the Chamber of Commerce, dark money groups, Big Pharma, and nearly the entire Democratic Party establishment in Washington”
“With this close of a margin, it’s clear that without their aggressive interference in the lives of South Texas families, we would have won,” she said.
“The biggest thing holding us back from pursuing the change we deserve is their fear. Fear of change, fear of the future.”
She vowed to continue to work to elect left-leaning Texas Democrats to congress.
“After a hard-fought primary battle, the voters of South Texas have spoken and they have decided that Henry Cuellar will again represent them in Washington, continuing his work to lead the Borderland and stand up for hard-working middle-class families from Laredo to San Antonio,” Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa said in a statement.
“We’re grateful to Jessica Cisneros for the positive campaign she ran — shining a light on the issues that are really impacting South Texas. We all know she will continue to fight for South Texans as we rally together behind our nominee, Henry Cuellar.”
After the May 24 election, Cuellar — who has represented Texas’ 28th district since 2005 — had a lead of just 177 votes over his progressive opponent. Cuellar will face Republican candidate Cassy Garcia in November as the GOP looks to reclaim the majority in the House.