Progressive immigration attorney Jessica Cisneros is challenging conservative Democrat and incumbent Rep. Henry Cuellar in Texas 28th district, a safe Democratic seat in South Texas. This primary race, a direct clash between the progressive and moderate wings of the Democratic party playing out on the local level, has received significant national attention and campaign spending.
Polls closed at 7 p.m. Central Time and 8 p.m. Eastern Time.
Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Polls closed at 7 p.m. Central Time and 8 p.m. Eastern Time. Watch for live results from tonight's Texas 28th congressional district primary. Texas 28th district Democratic primary results:
What's at stake in the primary? Jessica Cisneros, a 26-year-old immigration and human rights attorney, is running to challenge Rep. Henry Cuellar from the left with a progressive, grassroots campaign — years after she worked as an intern in his congressional office. Cuellar, a member of the House Appropriations Committee who has the backing of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and tens of local officials, is "one of the most conservative Hispanic Democrats" in the country, according to CNN. Between January 2017 and January 2019, Cuellar voted in line with President Donald Trump's position more than 68% of the time, FiveThirtyEight found. And similarly to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez' and Ayanna Pressley's primary challenges, Cisneros is arguing that Cuellar — who she calls "Trump's favorite Democrat" due to him voting with Trump's interests a majority of the time in the House — is fundamentally out of step with the heavily Democratic district he represents. Catch up on live coverage from the primary: While you wait for Texas results to come in, head over to our main Super Tuesday post to follow all the action. Follow along with the results from the Democratic presidential primary in Texas, the Democratic primary for US Senate in Texas, and all Texas down-ballot races. Here's how Democrats will elect their presidential nominee over the next several months
Cuellar is one of just two anti-abortion House Democrats along with Rep. Dan Lipinski of Illinois, and holds an A rating from the National Rifle Associaton, an organization reviled by most Democrats for its aggressive lobbying in favor of expanding gun rights. Cisneros has picked up high-profile endorsements from Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, a slew of progressive House members, several influential national and Texas labor unions, Planned Parenthood's political arm, and EMILY's List, which supports pro-choice women running for office. Like many of her endorsers, Cisneros supports progressive policies including the Green New Deal and Medicare for All. Meanwhile, both Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) Chairwoman Rep. Cheri Bustos and Speaker Nancy Pelosi have personally traveled to the district in support of Cuellar. Groups including the powerful Koch Network are also contributing to Cuellar, marking the first time the Koch operation has supported a Democrat in a federal election. Cisneros is confident in her potential to win. "I haven't had a single person disagree with me in terms of my policies," she told the Texas Tribune in November. But so is Cuellar, according to campaign spokesman Colin Strother. He will win "by a sizable, comfortable margin," Strother told CNN last week. "We're not allowing a 26-year-old young lady who's never done anything question the character of a dedicated public servant," Strother recently told Buzzfeed News of Cisneros' challenge. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Extremists turned a frog meme into a hate symbol, but Hong Kong protesters revived it as an emblem of hope
More like this (3)
Nebraska is holding its presidential and congressional primaries on May 12. Kara Eastman won the competitive...Nebraska is holding its presidential and congressional primaries on May 12. Kara Eastman won the competitive Democratic primary in Nebraska's second congressional district beating Ann Ashford and Gladys Harrison. Nebraska's second district, which includes the city of Omaha and surrounding suburbs, is a top target for Democrats to win both in the House of Representatives and in the electoral college this November. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. The stakes: Sen. Ben Sasse and all three of Nebraska's Republican congressmen are expected to easily be re-nominated. But on the Democratic side, there's a competitive primary in Nebraska's second congressional district. Kara Eastman won the Democratic primary in Nebraska's second district, which includes the city of Omaha and some of the surrounding suburbs, and is a top target for Democrats to win both in the House of Representatives and in the electoral college this November. Nebraska allocates their five electoral college votes proportionally, with two allocated based on the statewide vote and the other three based on the results in each of the state's three congressional districts, meaning the second district is worth one vote on its own. Nebraska's second went for former President Barack Obama in 2008, but then swung to Mitt Romney in 2012 and President Donald Trump in 2016. But as America's suburbs continue trending blue, Democrats hope this year to defeat Republican incumbent Rep. Don Bacon. The two major candidates competing for the nomination were Eastman, 2018 Democratic nominee, who lost to Bacon by just two percentage points in 2018, and Ann Ashford, an attorney, healthcare advocate, and wife of former Rep. Brad Ashford, who represented the district from 2015 to 2017. While Eastman is a progressive who embraces flagship policies like Medicare for All and a Green New Deal, she's moderated her campaign message somewhat since her 2018 run. Still, Ashford has attacked Eastman as being too far to the left, arguing that her 2018 loss against Bacon proves her positions make her unelectable in the district. "We have destroyers and we have builders. I'm a builder and so we have to recognize the issues that we have in place and address the problems," Ashford told CBS affiliate KMTV-3 of how she sees the differences between her and Eastman. Eastman had over twice as much cash on hand as Ashford, according to the most recent campaign finance filings, and has picked up endorsements from the US Congressional Progressive Caucus, the National Organization for Women, and the Sierra Club, among other prominent groups. On Monday, prominent Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez sent out a blast to her campaign's email list fundraising for Eastman. "Establishment forces have been aligned against Kara since the beginning," the email said. "In 2018, Kara came within just 2 points of defeating the incumbent Republican...but the Democratic Party still tried to recruit a different challenger. Instead of uniting behind her, they tried to find someone with fewer progressive policy planks to run instead," it added, in a thinly-veiled reference to Ashford. Nebraska is still offering in-person voting, but sent out absentee ballot request forms to all voters and saw a record number of voters casting absentee ballots due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As of Monday, the Secretary of State's office said that 354,000 Nebraskans voted by mail for the primary compared to around 200,000 who voted absentee in the 2016 presidential election in the state. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Why thoroughbred horse semen is the world's most expensive liquid
LIVE UPDATES: Early results show Mike Garcia leading Christy Smith in the special election in California's 25th congressional district
Republican Mike Garcia leads Democratic state Assemblywoman Christy Smith in the special election for California's 25th...Republican Mike Garcia leads Democratic state Assemblywoman Christy Smith in the special election for California's 25th congressional district. The first batch of results from Ventura and Los Angeles counties show Garcia leading Smith by over 16,000 votes, 55.9% to 44.1%. Not all ballots have been counted yet, and the race is still too early to call. The winner will serve out of the rest of Rep. Katie Hill's term in the 116th Congress, and face a re-match in November for the regular general election to represent the seat in the 117th Congress. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. The first batch of results from Ventura and Los Angeles Counties released after 8 p.m. Pacific Time shows Republican Mike Garcia leading Democrat Christy Smith by over 16,000 votes by a margin of 56% to 44%. The race is currently too early to call, and will likely not be resolved for several more days as officials process all mailed-in ballots. Why this race is so important for both parties This battleground district located in Southern California and includes parts of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties, and the cities of Simi Valley, Santa Clarita, and Palmdale. The district is one of several Democratic-trending districts in California to vote for Mitt Romney in 2012 and Hillary Clinton in 2016. In the 2018 midterm elections, former Rep. Katie Hill flipped the district from Republican to Democratic with an eight-point victory over the then-incumbent GOP Rep. Steve Knight. After only about 10 months in Congress, Hill, 32, resigned from the House after dozens of explicit photos of her were published on websites including the conservative blog Red State and the Daily Mail. Photos and text messages published on the sites, which are believed to have been leaked by Hill's estranged husband as blackmail, revealed that he and Hill engaged in a polyamorous relationship with one of Hill's paid campaign staffers. On March 3, Democratic state Assemblywoman and former school board member Christy Smith and Republican Mike Garcia, a former Navy pilot and defense contractor, advanced through a crowded top-two jungle primary for today's special general election. The highly competitive special election is rated as a toss-up major election handicappers, including the Cook Political Report and Sabato's Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics, and is expected to be very close. The winner of the special election will serve out of the rest of Hill's term in the 116th Congress until January 2021, but Smith and Garcia will have a re-match in just six months for the regular general election in November to represent the seat in the 117th Congress. California, which has an expansive vote by mail statute, allows voters to cast absentee ballots without an excuse. And due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, election officials mailed the nearly 425,000 registered voters in the district an absentee ballot while offering limited in-person voting options. Winning back the seat was a big victory for Democrats in 2018. But despite party heavyweights like 2016 presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama stepping in to endorse Smith, Democrats lowered expectations for the outcome of this special election — and are now could a suffer a very possible loss. If Garcia wins, it would mark the first time since 1998 that the GOP flipped a California district from Republican to Democratic. He would also be the only House Republican to represent a district that Hillary Clinton won with over 50% of the vote in 2016, as the Cook Political Report's Dave Wasserman pointed out on Tuesday night. For Republicans, Garcia was an ideal recruit as a political newcomer and a Latino with a military background for a racially diverse district where the defense and aerospace industries are major employers. As a first-time candidate, he also has no legislative record to attack, allowing Republicans to focus on negatively highlighting some of Smith's votes. In addition to national Democrats reportedly being concerned with Smith's fundraising not being impressive enough, Smith further got herself in hot water for seemingly mocking Garcia's military service and credentials for office in a video town hall, publicly apologizing after sarcastically joking of Garcia, "did you guys know he's a pilot?" National Democrats also worried that Hill's favorability in the district, which plummeted in the wake of her scandal, would hurt Smith's chances, according to the Los Angeles Times and Politico. The outlets also reported Democrats were also taken off guard by Hill inserting herself into the race with a video she released on April 30 encouraging people to vote in the special. Democrats' fears were confirmed with the first large batch of absentee votes and some in-person votes from Ventura and Los Angeles counties released after polls closed on Tuesday. As of 9:00 p.m. Pacific Time and 12:00 a.m. Eastern Time, Garcia leads Smith by 16,647 votes, 55.9% to 44.1%. While Smith has a significant deficit to make up in the remaining ballots, the race is still too early to call either way. California accepts mailed-in ballots that are postmarked by election day up to three days after the day of the election, meaning not all valid ballots have even been received yet. The extraordinary public health circumstances surrounding the election also have a significant impact on the level of voter turnout and which groups were more likely to vote. The result of this special election will heavily reflect the current landscape and the quality of the candidates, and won't necessarily be a harbinger of things to come in November or spell trouble for either party going forward. The special election in California's 25th district is the fourth special House election this year. Also on Tuesday, voters in Wisconsin's Republican-leaning 7th congressional district selected GOP State Senator Tom Tiffany to replace former Rep. Sean Duffy. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Why thoroughbred horse semen is the world's most expensive liquid