‘Self-inflicted wounds’ are hurting South Texas Democrats’ chances in Congress

This week in Texas politics with the Texas Tribune.

By Alexandra Hart and Wells DunbarApril 15, 2022 2:07 pm, , , ,

U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela recently left Congress for a private lobbying job, creating a special election and a scramble to fill his seat. It’s not the only spot in Congress that South Texas Democrats may be in jeopardy of losing, Texas Tribune political reporter James Barragán says.

“Congresman Vela’s decision to leave Congress early has just added to the woes of South Texas Democrats, who are really in a struggle this election season,” Barragán notes.

U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, currently in a runoff against Jessica Cisneros is “being investigated in some way or another by the FBI; we still are unsure,” he says. Plus, Vela’s early retirement set up a game of musical chairs in the Rio Grande Valley.

U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzales serves in a neighboring district to Vela’s, and plans to run in Vela’s 34th Congressional District come November. “But in the meantime while Filemon Vela’s gone,” Barragán says, there’s going to an election between that time.”

For more stories from the past week, including  Beto O’Rourke’s break with President Biden over ending a health policy torapidly expels migrants, and the indictment of Harris County staffers tied to Lina Hidalgo’s office, listen to the Q&A in the audio player above.

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