AUSTIN (Nexstar) — From Austin on Wednesday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi promised to again support U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, in his runoff for re-election after the FBI raided his home.
Pelosi was in town for an event with U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, to talk about strengthening the Affordable Care Act on its anniversary. Her support for Cuellar was brought up at the end of the event during reporter questions.
“I support my incumbents,” Pelosi said. “I support every one of the, from right to left. That is what I do.”
The speaker shifted toward the midterm elections in November, which she said is her focus because “we have no intention of losing.”
Cuellar faces a challenge from immigration lawyer Jessica Cisneros, who was a former intern for the Laredo congressman. Cisneros narrowly lost to Cuellar in 2020 but managed to land in runoff territory after the March primary election. During her 2020 bid, Pelosi flew out to Laredo to campaign for Cuellar but did not do so this time around.
Cuellar’s re-election bid is not just threatened by the challenge from progressive Cisneros. In January, the FBI raided the Laredo home and offices of Cuellar, who is seeking a 10th term. He has not been charged with any crime and has said he is fully cooperating in any investigation.
When asked by a reporter if Pelosi knew anything about the FBI raid, Pelosi said “I don’t know what it is.”
“I haven’t seen anything, have you? Do you know what it’s about?” the Speaker asked.
In an interview with Border Report following Pelosi’s remarks, Cuellar thanked Pelosi for the endorsement, as well as four other top House Democrats who have backed him.
“We’re gonna win this race and with the help of not only Starr County, but all the different counties. I look forward to being the Congressman then going into the November election,” he said.
Cisneros enjoys endorsements from progressive firebrands including U.S. Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-VT, Elizabeth Warren, D-MA, and U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY. In the days before the primary, Ocasio-Cortez campaigned for Cisneros in San Antonio, which is part of the contested congressional district. Cuellar, a centrist Democrat, was endorsed by the House Majority leader, U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-MD, the House’s second-highest ranked Democrat. He was also endorsed by the third and fourth-highest ranking U.S. representatives — Reps. Jim Clyburn, D-SC, and Hakeem Jeffries, D-NY.
Republicans running in Congressional District 28 also are set for a runoff between candidates Cassie Garcia and Sandra Whitten.
A spokesperson for the RNC said the split between a progressive and an establishment centrist-Democrat creates opportunity for Republicans in the district.
“Unfortunately for the Democrats, both Cisneros and Cuellar are unpopular and plagued with their own scandals. Support for the GOP in South Texas is undeniable and Republicans are more ready than ever to flip TX-28,” Macarena Martinez said.