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Candidate dubbed ‘next AOC’ demands recount after losing race

Candidate dubbed ‘next AOC’ demands recount after losing race
Jessica Cisneros’s call comes after a tight race decided by less than 300 votes

A progressive challenger endorsed by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez announced that she will request a recount for her congressional contest against Representative Henry Cuellar in Texas’ 28th District.

Jessica Cisneros, an immigration lawyer, announced her intention to seek a recount in the district after she and Mr Cuellar faced off in a runoff race late last month.

“Our movement was never just about one politician – it was about taking on an unjust system that rewards corruption and corporate profits at the expense of the needs of working people,” she said in a statement.

According to Texas’ Secretary of State’s office, Mr Cuellar lead Ms Cisneros by 177 votes in the district. Mr Cuellar mostly won the largely rural counties and heavily Hispanic counties along the US-Mexico the border.

“Our community isn’t done fighting, we are filing a recount” Ms Cisneros said. “With just under 0.6 per cent symbolizing such stark difference for the future in South Texas, I owe it to our community to see this through to the end.”

But Mr Cuellar, who had previously declared victory by 281 votes, criticised Ms Cisneros’ request and said that she will not find enough votes.

“My opponent has every legal right to call for a recount, though she has previously stated that she ‘won’t stop fighting until every vote is counted,’” he said. “Well every vote has been counted. She has no path to victory and will not gain 281 votes.”

Ms Cisneros and Mr Cuellar faced off in a runoff on 24 May after neither of the candidates won a clear majority in the initial primary in March. The matchup was the second time they have faced off, as Mr Cuellar beat Ms Cisneros outright in 2020.

Progressives have criticsed Mr Cuellar for being the sole anti-abortion Democrat in the House who supports gun rights. Ms Cisneros’s support for abortion rights and more progressive policies earned her the support of national figures such as Ms Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Bernie Sanders.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Whip James Clyburn for her part endorsed Mr Cuellar, which Ms Ocasio-Cortez criticised.