Cuellar ahead but Cisneros close behind as some precincts still uncounted by midnight

Jessica Cisneros and Henry Cuellar

Incumbent U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, appeared to be fending off a powerful primary challenge from Jessica Cisneros as of presstime Wednesday morning.

Cuellar had obtained 37,045 votes, 52.8%, across the district as of 12:30 a.m. Wednesday while Cisneros had 33,119 ballots, 47.2%.

The incumbent congressman took a solid majority of the final vote in Starr County, while Cisneros led the incumbent by almost 1,000 ballots in Hidalgo County with 100 out of 101 precincts reporting there.

Cuellar had received 6,126 votes, 46.17%, in Hidalgo County, led by Cisneros with 7,143 early votes or 53.83% of the total in Hidalgo County.

In Starr County, Cuellar won 6,970 votes, while Cisneros trailed with 3,872 ballots cast in her favor.

Cisneros, a 26-year-old immigration and human rights lawyer who previously interned for the incumbent, ran an aggressively progressive campaign, calling out Cuellar for moderate stances he’s taken in the house.

Cuellar, who has held the seat since 2004, emphasized his bipartisan track record and his experience with trade and border issues during the campaign.

The winner of the primary will face Republican candidate Sandra Whitten in the fall.

The Texas Tribune was reporting late Tuesday evening and early Wednesday morning that there were still polls open with

STATE REP. DISTRICT 36

State Rep. Sergio Muñoz Jr., D-Mission, appeared to be handily defending his seat against Democratic challenger Abraham Padron in the wee hours of Wednesday morning.

Muñoz, a lawyer vying for his sixth term in office, had so far received 9,253 votes, 68.16% of the votes cast during early voting. Padron, an insurance agent, trailed Muñoz with 4,323 early votes or 31.84%.

Muñoz has held the position since 2010.

“Ten years ago, you elected me to be your voice in Austin to fight for our children, our families, and our community,” Muñoz wrote in a statement Monday. “Together, we have made tremendous progress in our region by increasing funding for our public schools, worked to bring more investments and job opportunities, and increased the overall quality of life of our residents.”

Muñoz does not have a Republican opponent for the fall.

STATE REP. DISTRICT 41

State Rep. Bobby Guerra, D-McAllen, had a solid lead over Democratic challenger Richard Gonzales as of presstime Wednesday.

Guerra, a lawyer, had so far received 8,028 early votes, 58.76% of the votes cast during early voting. Gonzales, an insurance agent, with 5,634 early votes or 41.24% of the vote.

Guerra has held the post since 2012.

“During the seven years I have served as your state representative, I have demonstrated that I am a proud fiscal conservative,” Guerra wrote in a statement earlier this year. “While I have served, I have worked with Republicans and Democrats alike because I have always believed that progress for Texas is more important than political parties and that we, as Texans, should be able to get together and work towards a positive future.”

The winner of the primary will face Republican candidate Dr. John R. Guerra, an OB-GYN, in the fall.