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Ayanna Pressley endorses Democrat Henry Cuellar's primary challenger

Ayanna Pressley endorses Democrat Henry Cuellar's primary challenger
© Greg Nash

Progressive Rep. Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyGOP congresswoman-elect wants to form Republican 'Squad' called 'The Force' Pelosi faces caucus divisions in Biden era Record number of Black women elected to Congress in 2020 MORE (D-Mass.) on Tuesday threw her support behind Jessica Cisneros's primary challenge to Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar (D).

The congresswoman praised Cisneros's work as a human rights attorney, saying the progressive primary challenger would bring "bold advocacy and tireless activism" if elected to the House.

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“Our country is at a crossroads, and as the Administration in Washington, D.C., continues to advance hateful, draconian policies targeting women, immigrants, and other marginalized communities, the experience and determination of candidates like Jessica Cisneros is more essential than ever,” Pressley said in a statement released by Cisneros's campaign.

Pressley's announcement follows progressive firebrand and fellow "squad" member Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezTrump tweets Thanksgiving criticism of NFL QBs for kneeling Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year Ocasio-Cortez, Cruz trade jabs over COVID-19 relief: People 'going hungry as you tweet from' vacation MORE's (D-N.Y.) endorsement of Cisneros last week. 

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenThe Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation Disney laying off 32,000 workers as coronavirus batters theme parks Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year MORE (D-Mass.), who is running for president, has also voiced her support for Cisneros. 

Justice Democrats, the progressive advocacy group that helped Ocasio-Cortez and Pressley successfully run primary campaigns during the 2018 midterms, endorsed Cisneros after she launched her primary challenge in June. 

The group has made targeting Cuellar, who has been in Congress since 2005, a top priority. 

Cuellar’s campaign spokesman, Colin Strother, told The Hill that the campaign was not focused on Pressley's endorsement.

"Our opponent remains focused on endorsements from out of state PACs and politicians, while we remain focused on the voters of South Texas," Strother said in a statement. "This isn't the Bronx and it isn't Boston, this is the border. We power the nation's economy with international trade and oil gas exploration, but our socialist opponent and her out of state backers want to kill those jobs. Henry Cuellar it's fighting to protect those jobs and that will be our message to the voters."