Pramila Jayapal endorses Democrat Henry Cuellar's primary challenger

Pramila Jayapal endorses Democrat Henry Cuellar's primary challenger
© Greg Nash

Rep. Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalObama says US 'desperately needs' Biden legislation ahead of key votes Congress shows signs of movement on stalled Biden agenda This week: Democrats hit make-or-break moment for Biden MORE (D-Wash.) became the latest member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus to throw her support behind Jessica Cisneros, who's challenging Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) in a Democratic primary.

“Voters across America are hungry for bold, progressive change — and that means electing leaders like Jessica Cisneros who will fight for working people,” Jayapal said in a statement. "I look forward to working with Jessica in Congress to build a more equal and prosperous America for all of us — one in which Medicare For All, a Green New Deal, humane immigration reform and gun safety legislation become a reality.”

Last week, prominent presidential candidate Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDo progressives prefer Trump to compromise? Texas House Republican tests positive for coronavirus in latest breakthrough case In defense of share buybacks MORE (I-Vt.) announced his endorsement of Cisneros among nine other candidates.

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She’s running to unseat Cuellar with the backing of Justice Democrats, a progressive advocacy group that supported several progressive Democrats, including Jayapal, as well as Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezSecurity policy expert: Defense industry donations let lawmakers 'ignore public opinion' Do progressives prefer Trump to compromise? Don't let partisan politics impede Texas' economic recovery MORE (N.Y.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyHolding back on defensive systems for Israel could have dangerous consequences Warren, Bush offer bill to give HHS power to impose eviction moratorium Haitians stuck in Texas extend Biden's immigration woes MORE (Mass.), who have also voiced their support for Cisneros. 

Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings show that in the fourth quarter of 2019, Cisneros outraised Cuellar, raising $517,000 compared to his $431,000, though he had $2.9 million cash-on-hand compared to her $615,000. 

Last week, the Texas chapter of the AFL-CIO endorsed Cisneros as well.

Cuellar however, has the backing of several party leaders, such as House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiManchin cast doubt on deal this week for .5T spending bill Obama says US 'desperately needs' Biden legislation ahead of key votes Congress shows signs of movement on stalled Biden agenda MORE (D-Calif.) and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairwoman Cheri BustosCheryl (Cheri) Lea BustosOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by the American Petroleum Institute — A warning shot on Biden's .5T plan The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden continues to grapple with Afghanistan chaos Democrats fret over Trump-district retirements ahead of midterms MORE (Ill.).

Cuellar’s campaign manager Colin Strother dismissed Cisneros's endorsements as being from "out of state" lawmakers while touting his candidate's backing in Texas. 

"Our opponent is still focused on out of state endorsements while we are focused on the district, that's why we have 225 endorsements from local elected officials and she has zero,” Strother told The Hill. “The voters of South Texas will decide the race, not out of state members of congress no one in this district has ever heard of."

The Texas Democratic primary takes place March 3.