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March 4, 2020 / Press Releases

NARAL Pro-Choice America on Results of Texas’ 28th Congressional District Primary


For Immediate Release: March 4, 2020
Contact: media@prochoiceamerica.org

NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue released the following statement in response to the election results in Texas’ 28th Congressional District, where anti-choice Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar narrowly defeated pro-choice challenger Jessica Cisneros, who ran a strong campaign to unseat this 15-year incumbent who has consistently aligned with Trump’s anti-choice agenda:

“NARAL Pro-Choice America is proud to have joined our progressive allies to endorse Jessica Cisneros in this race and fight for a true champion for women and families in Texas’ 28th Congressional District. While we’d obviously have preferred a different outcome, we will never stop fighting to hold accountable politicians like Rep. Henry Cuellar who put their own extreme ideology over our fundamental rights and freedoms.

The fight for reproductive freedom isn’t won or lost in one race. The simple truth is people like Henry Cuellar’s days in office are numbered. He represents the interests of the hateful Trump administration, not his district or constituents, and is dangerously out of touch with the 77% of Americans who support Roe v. Wade

Jessica Cisneros ran a formidable race. A first-time candidate, she closed a 20-point polling gap to take a whopping 48% of the vote, sending a clear message that the people of Texas want someone who truly represents them and our values.

Despite this loss, the message has been delivered that the recipe for victory in 2020 and beyond is to make a principled stand to protect reproductive freedom for every body. The stakes are higher than ever, change is on our doorstep, and momentum is clear for candidates like Cisneros.” 

NARAL Pro-Choice America endorsed Jessica Cisneros in December 2019 with a coalition of leading progressive organizations including JStreetPAC, the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) Action Fund, MoveOn Political Action, and Planned Parenthood Action Fund (PPAF).

The coalition, including EMILY’s List who also endorsed Cisneros, invested $1.2 million in the primary for Texas’ 28th Congressional District in support of Cisneros’ bid to unseat Cuellar, helping make the race one of the most competitive the district has seen in 15 years. The electoral program, Texas Forward, included six weeks of layered digital, broadcast, and cable television ads in both English and Spanish that demonstrated just how out of touch Cuellar is with voters in his heavily-Democratic district.

NARAL engaged its members across the country to support Cisneros’ campaign, driving over 12,000 calls into TX-28 on behalf of Cisneros as part of National Virtual Phone Banks, deploying an on-the-ground organizer for the final month of the campaign, contacting thousands of constituents as part of NARAL’s digital electoral program, and knocking on nearly 1,000 doors in the district.

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NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates and chapters are dedicated to protecting and expanding reproductive freedom for all. For more than 50 years, NARAL has worked to guarantee that every woman has the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. Since 1969, NARAL has made history, grown to over 2.5 million members, and met the moments that have defined this fight with action, power and freedom.  In recognition of its work defending our constitutional right to choose, Fortune Magazine described NARAL as “one of the top 10 advocacy groups in America.”

Everyone should be able to decide if, when, how, and with whom they start or grow a family.

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