Warren endorses Texas Democrat Cuellar's primary challenger

Warren endorses Texas Democrat Cuellar's primary challenger
© Getty Images

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenUnited Auto Workers strike against GM poised to head into eighth day Omar: Biden not the candidate to 'tackle a lot of the systematic challenges that we have' Seven takeaways from a busy Democratic presidential campaign weekend in Iowa MORE (D-Mass.) on Monday endorsed Jessica Cisneros, a Democratic primary challenger to Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas).

“The people of Texas’ 28th district are ready for systematic change and deserve a Democrat that will be on the side of working people; not the side of big money and obstructionist Republicans,” Warren, a leading contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, said in a statement.

ADVERTISEMENT

"I believe Jessica Cisneros is that fighter. As an immigration lawyer and daughter of small business owners growing up on the border, Jessica knows our diversity is our strength and that when progressives are unapologetic about our values and who we’re in this battle for, we win. It’s time Texans had a champion in Congress who does just that. I’m proud to support Jessica.”

Cisneros launched her campaign in June and was immediately endorsed by Justice Democrats, the group that helped Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOmar: Biden not the candidate to 'tackle a lot of the systematic challenges that we have' Ocasio-Cortez calls out Democrats for refusing to impeach Trump Ocasio-Cortez reveals new policies for campaign aides with children MORE (D-N.Y.) in her primary bid against 10-term incumbent Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.).

The liberal advocacy group has made Cuellar a top target since January, bashing his voting record.

Cuellar responded with a tweet, saying, "We told you the outside special interests were coming to take away local jobs. Elizabeth Warren and our opponent share an agenda that would kill over 108,000 jobs in our region. I'm fighting back. Will you join me?"

 

 

Cuellar’s campaign manager Colin Strother also slammed Warren’s endorsement.

“Elizabeth Warren is at 10 percent in Texas and has as much of a chance of being elected president as our opponent does being elected to Congress,” Strother told The Hill.

He said that both Warren and Cisneros have “backward policies that would hurt Texas,” calling the Green New Deal a “scam” and saying that "Medicare For All" would cause Texans to lose coverage.

“I don’t think the district will get on board with this socialist agenda,” Strother said, before calling Warren and Cisneros Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOmar: Biden not the candidate to 'tackle a lot of the systematic challenges that we have' Seven takeaways from a busy Democratic presidential campaign weekend in Iowa Democrats go all out to court young voters for 2020 MORE (I-Vt.) "knockoffs."

In her launch video, Cisneros, an immigration and human rights attorney, criticized Cuellar for a conservative voting record. She said Cuellar had voted with President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump's top adviser on Asia to serve as deputy national security adviser United Auto Workers strike against GM poised to head into eighth day Trump doubles down on call to investigate Biden after whistleblower complaint: 'That's the real story' MORE 70 percent of the time in the 115th Congress.

Cuellar was one of three Democrats to side with Republicans on "Kate's law," a measure to expand maximum sentences for people who attempt to reenter the country after having been deported, and legislation to strip federal funding from “sanctuary” jurisdictions that do not fully cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

He also opposes abortion and has voted against allowing federal funds to be used for the practice. 

Warren's endorsement of Cisneros comes despite a push by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's (DCCC) to protect incumbents against primary challengers.

The group warned would-be campaign vendors in March that the party wouldn't award contracts to political firms working for primary challengers.

“I’m so proud to receive this endorsement from Senator Warren, who has dedicated her career to fixing our corrupt political system and fighting for working families like mine,” Cisneros said in a statement.

“Our district deserves to be represented by a true Democrat who will work in Washington to improve the lives of her constituents, not corporate donors. Senator Warren’s support demonstrates that we’re building the momentum we need to bring real change to South Texas.” 

Texas's 28th Congressional District went for Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocrats go all out to court young voters for 2020 Pelosi: Whistleblower complaint 'must be addressed immediately' Election meddling has become the new normal of US diplomacy MORE by 20 points in the 2016 presidential election and is rated solidly Democratic by the nonpartisan Cook Political Report.

-- Updated at 1:53 p.m.