Pramila Jayapal endorses Democrat Henry Cuellar's primary challenger

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

Rep. Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalExpanding tax credit for businesses retaining workers gains bipartisan support House punts on FISA, votes to begin negotiations with Senate Democrats press OSHA official on issuing an Emergency Temporary Standard 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 SandersJudd Gregg: Biden — a path to the presidency, or not Biden's 'allies' gearing up to sink his campaign Expanding tax credit for businesses retaining workers gains bipartisan support 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-CortezTrump says he will designate antifa a terrorist organization Ocasio-Cortez rips de Blasio after police cruiser drives into crowd of protesters NYPD police cruisers lurch through group of demonstrators protesting Floyd's death MORE (N.Y.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyHouse Democrats unveil measure to condemn police brutality Warren's VP bid faces obstacle: Her state's Republican governor Democrats blast CDC report on minorities and COVID-19 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 PelosiThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump tweets as tensions escalate across US Judd Gregg: Biden — a path to the presidency, or not Trump asserts his power over Republicans MORE (D-Calif.) and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairwoman Cheri BustosCheryl (Cheri) Lea BustosGOP pulls support from California House candidate over 'unacceptable' social media posts Republican flips House seat in California special election GOP's Don Bacon and challenger neck and neck in Democratic poll 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.