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Abortion Opponent Henry Cuellar Was Buoyed by Democratic Leaders to a Narrow Lead in Texas Runoff

Abortion Opponent Henry Cuellar Was Buoyed by Democratic Leaders to a Narrow Lead in Texas Runoff

By The Intercept

In early May, as aggrieved civilians mourned the impending end of Roe v. Wade at the hands of a court determined by lifetime appointments, President Joe Biden issued an urging that struck many as hollow: “[I]t will fall on voters to elect pro-choice officials this November,” he said in a statement, which used the word “abortion” only once. But Democratic voters, at the federal level, had for the most part already done that. In the U.S. House of Representatives, only one anti-abortion Democrat remained: Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas.

But despite Biden’s urging, abortion defenders in Texas’s 28th District may have fallen short Tuesday night. The final vote count is not yet in, but Cuellar is well positioned to win the nomination for a 10th term in a congressional career for which he long enjoyed an A rating from the NRA. Those who associate the Democratic Party with reproductive rights and gun control efforts could be forgiven for being confused: Despite his stances, top Democratic House leaders lined up to protect the incumbent.

“On the day of a mass shooting and weeks after news of Roe, Democratic Party leadership rallied for a pro-NRA, anti-choice incumbent under investigation in a close primary. Robocalls, fundraisers, all of it,” tweeted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Tuesday night. “Accountability isn’t partisan. This was an utter failure of leadership.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., played both sides. While she pledged her continued support for an embattled Cuellar in March after he was forced into a runoff and reportedly recorded a robocall backing him in the district, she also sent a last-minute fundraising plea Tuesday to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee email list to help elect pro-choice Democrats. House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., however, was firmly in Cuellar’s corner. In a robocall on Tuesday, he described Cuellar as “a staunch advocate for the people’s health care,” the Texas Tribune…

Read Full Story At: The Intercept

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