Progressive Jessica Cisneros seeks recount in race against South Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar

The contest gained national attention as a key fight as progressives and establishment Democrats wage a wider struggle for the direction of the party.

click to enlarge The margin between U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar (left) and Jessica Cisneros, his challenger in the May 24 Democratic Primary runoff, stands at 281 votes. - SANFORD NOWLIN (LEFT) AND TWITTER / JESSICA CISNEROS (RIGHT)
Sanford Nowlin (left) and Twitter / Jessica Cisneros (right)
The margin between U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar (left) and Jessica Cisneros, his challenger in the May 24 Democratic Primary runoff, stands at 281 votes.
Progressive candidate Jessica Cisneros will request a recount in her Democratic primary runoff against U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, a widely watched race he  leads by a margin of just 281 votes.

Cisneros, a 29-year-old immigration attorney challenging the nine-term centrist incumbent, made her announcement Monday after the Texas Democratic Party certified the results. A recount will delay the declaration of an official winner for roughly two weeks, the Texas Tribune reports.

The contest gained national attention as a key fight as progressives and establishment Democrats wage a wider struggle for the direction of the party. It gained further significance after the leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade since Cuellar is one of the Congress' few remaining anti-abortion Democrats.

"Our movement never was just about one politician — it was about taking on an unjust system that rewards corruption and corporate profits at the expense of the needs of working people," Cisneros said in a written statement. "Our community isn't done fighting, we are filing for a recount."

The race's 0.6% margin is well below the 10% threshold needed under state law to request a recount. Cisneros, who also ran a tight 2020 race against Cuellar, said the narrow margin obligates her to continue the fight.

The contested blue-leaning district stretches from Laredo to an eastern swath of San Antonio.

Cuellar already declared victory on election night, when he held a 177-vote advantage. On Monday, he declared victory a second time after final canvasing slightly increased his lead.

"She has no path to victory and will not gain 281 votes," Cuellar said in a statement.

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