Jessica Cisneros on Texas Politics, Abortion Access, and Running for Congress

However there was one vibrant spot: Cuellar’s workplace, like these of most members of Congress, was run by folks of their 20s and 30s. “Young people,” Cisneros says, “run our government.”

That’s why she ran against Cuellar — whom she’s referred to as “Trump’s favorite Democrat” — within the 2020 Democratic main. She misplaced by 4 share factors, a remarkably shut margin given Cuellar’s incumbency and the truth that he reportedly outspent her by $700,000

This time, the race is even nearer. Cuellar and Cisneros confronted off in a March main: He acquired 48.4% of the vote, she acquired 46.9; a 3rd candidate acquired 4.7. Since no person managed to hit the 50%-plus-one threshold required to declare outright victory, voters in Texas’s twenty eighth District will select between Cuellar and Cisneros yet another time, in a runoff election on Could 24.

Cisneros attributes the shut race to the organizing infrastructure her marketing campaign constructed in the course of the earlier election cycle. “I think the biggest difference this time around was the fact that, from day one, we hit the ground running,” she says. 

Cisneros spoke to Teen Vogue from her marketing campaign workplace on a latest Tuesday night, after a protracted day jam-packed with workers conferences and different interviews. Behind her had been 4 posters: a easy marketing campaign advert together with her face on it; an image of a jaguar with “juntos” (collectively) written above its head; a rainbow flag manufactured from triangles; and “la salud reproductiva es un derecho” (reproductive well being is a proper) emblazoned over an orange floral background.

Her marketing campaign has a military of volunteers who already knew the best way to canvas and telephone financial institution; Cisneros has title recognition. She additionally has endorsements from among the most distinguished progressive politicians within the nation, together with Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Elizabeth Warren, in addition to from organizations reminiscent of EMILY’s Record, the United Farm Employees, and the Dawn Motion.

Some have framed this heated race as a nationwide referendum on whether or not Democrats — and Latinos, particularly — truly help progressive points. Republicans doubled their turnout in Webb County, of which Laredo is the county seat, in 2020. The shift was largely pushed by Latino voters, who make up the vast majority of the inhabitants in South Texas. Cuellar has tried to make use of Cisneros’s endorsements and insurance policies to color her as being out of contact with the values of the district. One marketing campaign advert accused her of wanting to “defund the police and Border Patrol, which would wreck our local economy.”

But Cisneros suggests it is Cuellar who’s out of touch with the people of the district. “The values of my campaign and the values of this district are hard work and familia,” she says. “We’re not just supporting progressive policy because it’s progressive. We’re supporting it because we truly believe that’s what speaks to the issues that hardworking South Texas families are facing.”

“When we’re talking about any kind of issue, whether it be reproductive rights, whether it be trans rights, or worker’s rights,” Cisneros continues, “it’s always based around the notion [that] we have to do right by our South Texas families, and we have to make sure that we are providing the best opportunity that we can so families can prosper and thrive here in our district.” 

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