Cisneros banked more than $350,000 in contributions for the first six weeks of the year — some coming from celebrity backers such as actress Susan Sarandon. That compares to Cuellar's $100,000 take during the period. The incumbent still has more than $2 million in his war chest, compared to Cisneros' $296,000.
The fundraising details come as the Texas Tribune reports U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Laredo over the weekend, delivering a pep talk to staffers and volunteers at Cuellar's headquarters.
The race is shaping up to be a key battleground between the Democratic party's progressive and centrist wings.
Cisneros is backed by Justice Democrats, the insurgent progressive group behind freshman U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York. Meanwhile, moderate Cuellar has racked up endorsements from establishment Dems plus the pro-businesses U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the political network formed by the Koch brothers.
The traditionally Democratic-leaning House District 28 stretches from South San Antonio down to Laredo.
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