Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar is joining a growing list of lawmakers who will be skipping their party’s nominating convention this September.

The four-term lawmaker from Texas says he wants to focus his efforts on his reelection bid in his district and will not attend the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., Politico first reported.

ADVERTISEMENT
Cuellar joins other Democrats skipping the convention, including West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, Sens. Claire McCaskillClaire McCaskillFive takeaways from the Georgia special election Picking 2018 candidates pits McConnell vs. GOP groups Potential McCaskill challenger has .7M: report MORE (Mo.) and Joe ManchinJoe ManchinDems struggle with abortion litmus test Senators push 'cost-effective' reg reform Congress nears deal on help for miners MORE (W.Va.) and Reps. Nick RahallNick RahallWest Virginia is no longer Clinton country Solution needed: Rail congestion is stifling economic growth Lobbying World MORE (W.Va.), Mark Critz (Pa.), Kathy Hochul (N.Y.), Bill Owens (N.Y.) and Jim MathesonJim MathesonWork begins on T infrastructure plan New president, new Congress, new opportunity First black GOP woman in Congress wins reelection MORE (Utah).

McCaskill’s decision in particular has led to attacks from Republicans who claim the senator, who is expected to face a tough fight for reelection, is attempting to distance herself from President Obama in the red-trending state of Missouri.

McCaskill, though, has pushed back, saying she would rather meet with constituents than be “hobnobbing with donors at cocktail parties,” and said Obama approved of her decision.

“He thinks it’s the right thing to do,” she said Tuesday.

Rep. Steve Israel (N.Y.), the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman, has said he encourages candidates to remain in their districts and focus on their races instead of attending the convention. “If they want to win an election, they need to be in their districts,” he said last month. 

Democrats are making a strong push to win the 25 seats they will need to recapture the House this November.

On the Republican side, former Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle and Rep. Denny Rehberg (Mont.) have said they’ll miss their party’s convention.