An Important Dem. Primary in Texas

The Story:

The representative of Texas’s 28th district in the U.S. House has always been a Democrat, since the district was first created thirty years ago. So the Democratic Party’s nomination there likely determines who will occupy that seat next year. The first-round Democratic Party primary this week, though, has made it seem possible that the Democratic candidate in November will not be incumbent Henry Cuellar, but challenger Jessica Cisneros


Much of the 28th district follows the Rio Grande and, so, the U.S./Mexican border, though an arm of it reaches out to the eastern outskirts of San Antonio. Henry Cuellar (D) has represented this district in the U.S. House since his first election in 2004. Cuellar has consistently disappointed the progressives in his party’s caucus. In 2019 he was one of only three Democratic votes in favor of a Trump-sponsored measure enhancing criminal penalties for immigrants who re-enter the U.S. after a deportation.

Those disappointments produced a progressive primary challenge, Jessica Cisneros, a vocal advocate of a path to citizenship for undocumented aliens.

The Thing to Know:

There was a third candidate, who received 5% of the vote. Cuellar and Cisneros fought each other to a draw. Given the third candidate’s block, both Cuellar and Cisneros were below the 50% mark, which sets up a run-off head-to-head primary for them in May.


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