He has a bigger lead now than he did on Election Night.
With every vote counted in a fiercely contested South Texas Democratic primary runoff, longtime congressman Henry Cuellar was 281 votes ahead of progressive challenger Jessica Cisneros.
Cuellar declared victory last week, after coming in 177 votes ahead of Cisneros on Election Day. The remaining uncounted ballots expanded his lead by another 104 votes, final results from each county in the district showed.
“As I said on election night, the margin will hold — and it has not only held but grown,” Cuellar said in a statement.
Cuellar called for those who voted against him in the runoff to back him in the general election, when Republicans hope Cassy Garcia, a former staffer for U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, will flip the long blue district.
“While we may differ on certain positions, we share a common ground on many issues to improve our communities and strengthen families,” Cuellar said.
The final tally is still well within the bounds of a possible recount, however. Texas law allows candidates to request one if the vote difference is less than 10 percent of the leading candidate’s vote total; Cuellar finished with 22,895 votes.
Cisernos’s campaign, which did not immediately comment on the final tally, spent the last week raising money for a “recount fund” and telling supporters that “a recount is looking more and more likely.”
Cuellar’s lead is considerably larger than Michelle Vallajo’s in CD15, though as noted both races are subject to recount. On that subject, among the thousands of emails I get each day are several from Cisneros asking for donations to her “recount fund”, which is silly since her campaign would not have to pay for a recount due to the closeness of the election. Such appeals do work, though, so here we are. As I said with CD15, either ask for a recount (which is Cisneros’ right under the law) or don’t, but either way it’s time to wrap this up and move on to November. Whatever you think of Cuellar (and as you know, I’ve never liked him), he’s always a strong performer in November and should be in decent shape to win even in a non-favorable environment. Big picture, y’all. The San Antonio Report has more.