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.
Cuellar joins other Democrats skipping the convention, including West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, Sens. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillRepublicans may regret restricting reproductive rights Sunday shows preview: States deal with fallout of Ida; Texas abortion law takes effect Giuliani to stump for Greitens in Missouri MORE (Mo.) and Joe ManchinJoe ManchinBriahna Joy Gray: Push toward major social spending amid pandemic was 'short-lived' Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Emissions heading toward pre-pandemic levels Biden discusses agenda with Schumer, Pelosi ahead of pivotal week MORE (W.Va.) and Reps. Nick RahallNick Joe RahallA billion plan to clean the nation's water is murky on facts On The Trail: The political losers of 2020 We shouldn't allow politics to impede disaster relief MORE (W.Va.), Mark Critz (Pa.), Kathy Hochul (N.Y.), Bill Owens (N.Y.) and Jim MathesonJames (Jim) David MathesonMcAdams concedes to Owens in competitive Utah district Trump EPA eases standards for coal ash disposal Utah redistricting reform measure likely to qualify for ballot 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.