Conservative Henry Cuellar targeted by socialist-activist group that helped AOC win race in New York City
AUSTIN Texas (Texas Insider Report) While many Texans may not be aware of the fact come Super Tuesdays March 3rd 2020 Democrat Primaries south Texas party officials are going to find out whether its socialist-leaning AOC Wing" can be successful in Congressional District race there or not. While Congressional District 28 is an area with a long-standing and well-developed Conservative Democrat reputation Congressman Henry Cuellar who represents those ideas and the district are under attack.
During the 2018 Democrat primary in New York Citys Bronx & Queens-based 14th Congressional District a fledgling far-left activist group calling themselves The Justice Democrats played the role of Kingmaker or perhaps Queenmakers would better describe their efforts help elect an unknown candidate named Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez whos now become a nationally recognized far-left activist Congresswoman known only as AOC.
Founded in 2016 after Bernie Sanders had the Democrat Presidential nomination stolen from him by Hillary Clinton the Justice Democrats goal is to reshape the Democrat Party through primary challenges and theyve quickly became a feared grassroots force following AOCs upset win.
Earlier this year the group recruited a 26-year-old female immigrant rights attorney whos only lived in Congressional District 28 five short months to run against the hard-working and well-respected but more conservative South Texas Democrat Cong. Henry Cuellar.
The Justice Democrats Texas 2020 insurgency may be in for far more of an uphill battle than the one it faced in the 2018 New York Citys race where AOC (left) shocked 10-term incumbent Cong. Joe Crowley. Crowley held the powerful position of House Democrat Caucus Chair a role placing him only a spot or two behind now-Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the House leadership.
After all South Texas voters elected Cuellar to represent District 28 in 2004 by turning against his more left-leaning opponent former Cong. Ciro Rodriguez.
Back then voters knew Cuellar was a conservative Democrat. Hed been chosen by former Gov. Rick Perry to serve as Texas Secretary of State a position which plays a critical role for South Texas and its interactions with the neighboring country of Mexico.
In short Cuellar ran to the right of his opponent and the South Texas voters rewarded him with a victory in the hotly contested election that was eventually decided after a recount determined the winner.
The Justice Democrats hand-picked 2020 primary candidate 26-year-old Jessica Cisneros (at right) has said shes basing her campaign strategy on painting Cuellar as Trumps favorite Democrat." And shes citing a FiveThirtyEight Vote Tracker report she claims shows Cuellar voting with the presidents position 68 of the time in the last Congress.
But a more comprehensive analysis of Cuellars record by ProPublica indicates hes voted only about 15 of the time against bills supported by House Democrats.
Earlier this year the Justice Democrats announced that Cuellar would be their first target of the 2020 primaries. And with only two Justice Democrat candidates receiving direct contributions so far this election cycle its clear the group has made South Texas a staging ground in its mission to push the Democrat Party leftward.
Colin Strother Cuellars long-time campaign manager says he still believes South Texas is a conservative region.
Cisneros he says has only lived in the district for five months. Prior to that she hadnt resided in the 28th Congressional District for eight or nine years.
She doesnt really know anything about the district the people in it or their values" Strother said.
But since announcing her candidacy in June Cisneros has raised $463000 and earned several high-profile endorsements including from former President Barack Obama and current presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D- Massachusetts.)
Shes also been endorsed by two of the nations leading pro-abortion groups the Planned Parenthood PAC and National Abortion Rights Action Leagues (NARAL) Pro-Choice America PAC two groups that the widely-popular Catholic Church which most South Texas Hispanics support and attend has criticized for their hard-line insistence of abortion up to the time of delivery policies.
In the meantime at the national level AOC recently drew a line in the sand by endorsing the farthest-to-the-left Democrat presidential candidate in the race Bernie Sanders. Because of the duos potential ability to sway the direction of the party into the future possibly even hindering its effort to defeat President Donald Trump its a move Democrat insiders immediately became wary of.
And they are watching.
Under the radar infighting still persists after Sanders 2016 presidential candidacy. Many national party leaders still believe Sanderss attacks on Hillary Clinton contributed to her defeat and might have similar effects on 2020s eventual nominee.
A self-described Democratic-Socialist or Independent during Sanders life-long political career he has filed (and been elected) in his home state of Vermont as a Liberty Union candidate a Liberty Party candidate as a Progressive Party candidate or as an Independent as often as hes been elected as a Democrat.
According to NBC News Sanders earlier this year signed a pledge required under new Democrat National Committee (DNC) rules that declared he was a Democrat and would serve as one if elected.
The new DNC rule was one of many changes made following Clintons 2016 defeat partially as a response to Sanders Campaign. While Sanders is running as a Democrat and caucuses with Democrats in the U.S. Senate according to NBC News he filed as an Independent earlier this year when announcing he would run for re-election to his Vermont Senate seat in 2024.
In South Texas nonetheless Cisneros is confident the Latino-majority 28th Congressional District can be pushed leftward with ideas like Sanders Medicare for All and AOCs Green New Deal.
She has accused Cuellar of relying on South Texas conservative stereotypes" to explain his voting record.
Youre talking about a deep blue district where the Democrat always wins with 60-to-80 of the vote sometimes even higher than that" Cisneros said recently. That means everything is coming down to the primaries."
Cuellars campaign said the Congressman has never hidden the fact that some of his votes run counter to far-left Democrats or that hes willing to work across the aisle with Republicans.
When we vote to lower taxes and protect the border we send out a press release" said Strother.
When we get an award from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases or the U.S. Chamber of Commerce we press release" Strother said adding that the policies Cisneros supports run counter to industries and values that are important to the culture of South Texas like oil & gas jobs and responsible gun ownership.
Strother said he believes Cisneros campaign is not a genuine expression of the political climate in South Texas but is a campaign thats been imposed on the region by the our-of-state left-wing insurgency of the Justice Democrats.
Whatever the case when it comes to the political leanings of District 28s South Texas constituents who have long supported Cuellar it seems sure theyll be hearing from and tested by Justice Democrats backing of the Cisneros campaign.