Although Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) already declared victory in the runoff election to maintain his South Texas seat, "Squad"-backed opponent Jessica Cisneros argues it’s not over until every vote is counted — which may not happen until after the holiday weekend.

Election officials indicated “hundreds” of ballots still have not been counted, which could swing the tight race in either direction, said Cisneros, who was down just 175 votes Thursday. The liberal attorney urged voters to ensure their ballots were received and accepted, noting the race may not be called until after Memorial Day.


“Victory has never been closer, and we are almost there,” Cisneros said in a video posted on Twitter. “As you all know, this race is too close to call, and we’re not taking anything for granted. ... We’re not backing down from this fight because every vote should count.”

While the Democratic nomination fight in Texas's 28th Congressional District is playing out for the newly drawn seat, Republicans picked Cassy Garcia as the GOP nominee during the runoff election Thursday as the party seeks to flip the seat and build on recent successes with Latino voters near the U.S.-Mexico border. The GOP is targeting several districts held by Democrats in South Texas, hoping to capitalize on frustration with the Biden administration among Hispanics in the region.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez,Jessica Cisneros
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, right, attends a rally with Democratic Congressional candidate Jessica Cisneros. Eric Gay/AP

Cuellar had declared victory Tuesday night despite the race not yet being called by officials.

“It’s very irresponsible and kind of insulting for him to disregard the hundreds of votes that are still out there, because those are constituents making their voices heard,” Cisneros told the Houston Chronicle. “But at the same time, this line of ‘stop the count’ doesn’t surprise this campaign, because he’s Trump’s favorite Democrat for a reason.”

The runoff election gained national attention after a leak of a Supreme Court draft opinion indicating the court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that legalized abortion nationwide. Cisneros seized on the leaked report to chastise Cuellar for being the lone House Democrat to vote against codifying abortion access at the federal level.

“Henry Cuellar is the only one calling this race for himself. No one else is because this race is super close,” Cisneros said. “We clearly have a shot at taking down the last anti-choice Democrat in Congress.”

The race has also garnered widespread attention from Democrats as lawmakers split on whether an anti-abortion lawmaker still has a place in the party. Several party leaders have thrown their support behind the incumbent, butting heads with multiple far-left lawmakers who back Cisneros.


Several members of the Squad — including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) — endorsed Cisneros in her bid against Cuellar, criticizing Democratic leadership for attempting to maintain the status quo within Congress.

“Congress should not be an incumbent protection racket and sadly it is treated as such by far too many,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “If Cuellar wins, leadership’s decision to go to the mat for a pro-NRA incumbent will be the reason why. If Cisneros pulls it out, they will have mobilized against a badly needed grassroots for Nov & fought against a historic victory. And for what?”

The Washington Examiner reached out to both campaigns with requests for comment but did not receive responses.