FBI investigation, AOC-endorsed opponent pose challenges for Cuellar in March primary race for U.S. Rep. District 28

Democratic incumbent faces 2 opponents; Crowded Republican primary features 7 candidates

SAN ANTONIO – If U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar thought he saw his most serious challenge in the 2020 Democratic primary, he could be in for a bigger fight in the March 2022 primary for the District 28 congressional seat.

The Democrat from Laredo will be facing immigration attorney Jessica Cisneros in a primary rematch. The last time the two met Cuellar edged out Cisneros, winning 51.8% of the vote.

While Cisneros received backing from progressives the last time around, she got a huge boost to her campaign this year when she received an endorsement from U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez during a rally in San Antonio.

Cuellar, who is seeking his 10th term in office, also has an FBI investigation hanging over his campaign. FBI agents raided his home in Laredo in January. The investigation remains active although Cuellar denies any wrongdoing.

A third candidate, teacher and organizer Tannya Judith Benavides, is also running in the Democratic primary.

Republicans are also hoping to put up a competitive race in the district, as they have made progress with Latino voters in South Texas in 2020. Here’s a look at the crowded GOP primary field.

Cassy Garcia

Casandra “Cassy” Garcia is a political staffer, having served most recently as U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s Deputy State Director. She was appointed by then-President Donald Trump in July of 2020 to serve as Commissioner for the White House Hispanic Prosperity Initiative. According to her campaign website, her priorities include “creating jobs, protecting innocent life, and upholding our Constitutional rights.”

Sandra Whitten

Whitten, a youth and preschool director, was the Republican nominee for the district in 2020, but lost to Cuellar in the general election. On her campaign website, Whitten said the fact that she received almost double the number of votes than any other GOP candidate in the district’s history propelled her to run again. Her priorities include border security, jobs and healthcare.

Steven Fowler

Lt. Col. Steven Fowler flew dozens of combat missions over Afghanistan for the U.S. Air Force and is a small business owner. On his campaign website, Fowler said he plans to “fight like hell against radical Democrats in Washington, D.C.” His campaign priorities include border security, job security and police funding.

Ed Cabrera

Cabrera is a rancher and small business owner who said he is running for office because he “has experienced the issues that are challenging the area” and his business background can help solve those issues. According to his campaign website, Cabrera’s priorities include a secure border, defense of family values and job creation.

Eric Hohman

Hohman, a management analyst, served 15 years in the Air Force where he served as a military police officer. According to his campaign website, he is running for office “to stand up to the DC politicians who are taking our country in the wrong direction.” His priorities include border security, defending the Second Amendment and stopping human trafficking.

Willie Vasquez Ng

Ng is a former Bexar County Sheriff candidate who lost in the Republican primary in 2020. He worked in various capacities in the San Antonio Police Department and Bexar County District Attorney’s Office. He owns a security firm. According to Ng’s campaign website, his main priorities include protecting the Second Amendment, border security and backing police.

Rolando Rodriguez

Rodriguez has owned several small businesses over the years. Rodriguez said he is running for office “to protect my country from socialist democrat policies that are designed to harm and not to help us.” According to his campaign website, Rodriguez’s priorities include banning abortion, fair imports and exports tax, and religious freedom.

Congressional District 28 (KSAT)

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About the Author:

David Ibañez has been managing editor of KSAT.com since the website's launch in October 2000.