Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) has held on to his seat after a strong challenge from Republican Cassy Garcia in his southern border district.
The race had focused extensively on the Biden administration’s handling of an immigration crisis at the border.
Cuellar, one of the most centrist Democrats in the House, criticized President Joe Biden repeatedly for his neglect of the situation in his district and others that touch Mexico.
Cuellar had also cut a path distinct from his party on abortion. The only anti-abortion Democrat in the House, Cuellar survived a primary challenge this summer from a more progressive candidate who had hit him on his opposition to abortion.
Garcia sought to expand the GOP’s appeal with Hispanic voters, which has been growing in recent cycles. She had focused on inflation and immigration in a pitch that portrayed Cuellar, despite his centrism, as a contributor to the Democratic policies that have worsened life for many over the past two years.
She also went after Cuellar for his longevity in office. First elected to Congress in 2004, Cuellar has spent most of his career as a politician. He became a Texas state legislator in 1987.
Garcia stressed the need for new leadership and pitched herself as an outsider capable of providing it.
Cuellar had entered the final week of the election favored to win, according to analysis from the data website FiveThirtyEight.
The 28th District is overwhelmingly Hispanic and has been represented by a Democrat in Congress every year since its creation in 1993.