- Henry Cuellar
name = Henry Roberto Cuellar
date of birth = birth date and age|1955|09|19
place of birth =
district = 28th
January 3, 2005
succeeded = Incumbent
party = Democratic
spouse = Imelda Cuellar
occupation= attorney, customs broker
Georgetown University, University of Texas, Texas A&M University
Henry Roberto Cuellar (born
September 19, 1955) is a Democratic politicianfrom Laredo, Texas, who represents his state's 28th Congressional district ( [http://nationalatlas.gov/printable/images/preview/congdist/tx28_109.gifmap] ) in the United States House of Representatives. Cuellar's district extends from the Rio Grandeto the suburbs of San Antonio, including Guadalupe County.
Cuellar was born in
Laredo, Texaswhere he has resided for most of his life. The oldest of nine children, Cuellar's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Martin S. Cuellar, were migrant workers who never surpassed the fifth grade. He graduated in 1973 from J. W. Nixon High School, a classmate of future Webb County District Attorney Joe Rubio, Jr.[ [http://www.laredosnews.com/archives/nov2002/local_03.htm :: LareDosnews.com :: - Local ] ] Cuellar then procured an associate's degreefrom Laredo Community College(then known as Laredo Junior College), where he would later for a time instruct governmentcourses on an adjunct basis. He then attended the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Serviceat Georgetown Universityin Washington, D.C.He also holds a degree in International Tradefrom Texas A&M International Universityin Laredo, and a Juris Doctorand a Ph.Dfrom the University of Texas at Austin.
Prior to being elected to the
United States House of Representatives, Cuellar was a member of the Texas House of Representativesfrom 1987 to 2001, representing part of Laredo. He was selected Secretary of Stateof Texas in 2001 by Republican Governor Rick Perry. Before turning to politics, Cuellar was a lawyerand owned a private trade firm.
Cuellar and his wife, Imelda, have two daughters, Christina Alexandra and Catherine Ann.
Cuellar's brother, Martin J. Cuellar (born
May 16, 1958), is a law enforcement officer and the apparent Democratic nominee for sheriffof Webb County in 2008. Cuellar won a recount of ballots from the April 8 runoff electionby thirty-nine votes. Following a judicial hearing of the election contest petition in which a new election was requested, Martin Cuellar was declared the victor by 42 votes and the request for a new election was denied. Outgoing Sheriff Rick Flores declined to file an appeal to the 4th Court of Appeals, meaning Martin Cuellar will assume the office of Webb County Sheriff in January 2009.
Election to the House of Representatives
In the 2002 election, Cuellar was the Democratic Party nominee for the House of Representatives in
Texas's 23rd congressional district. He lost to five-term incumbent Republican Henry Bonillaby two percentage points in the closest race Bonilla had faced to that date.
Cuellar spent much of the early part of 2003 preparing for a rematch against Bonilla. However, the
2003 Texas redistrictingshifted most of Laredo, which had been the heart of the 23rd since its creation in 1966, into the 28th district, represented by Democrat Ciro Rodriguez. Cuellar challenged Rodriguez for the nomination and won it by 58 votes [ [http://asp.usatoday.com/news/politicselections/CandidateProfile.aspx?ci=327&oi=H USATODAY.com ] ] . Cuellar's victory was one of only two primary upsets of incumbents, from either party, in the entire country.
The 28th is far more Democratic than the 23rd, and Cuellar's victory in the general election was a foregone conclusion. In November, he defeated Republican
Jim Hopsonof Seguin by a 20-point margin.
Cuellar's election to the House in 2004 was a standout for Democrats in a year in which Republicans gained seats in Texas in the House of Representation because of redistricting.
March 7, 2006, Cuellar again defeated Rodriguez in the Democratic primary with 52 percent of the vote in a three-way race. No Republican even bothered to file, apparently assuring him of reelection in November.
June 29, the U.S. Supreme Courtdeclared that the Texas Legislatureviolated the rights of Latino voters when it shifted most of Laredo out of the 23rd and replaced it with several heavily Republican San Antoniosuburbs. [ [http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/06/29/ap/politics/mainD8IHPP180.shtml Redistrict Ruling May Affect Nov. Election, Ruling That Congressional District in Texas Is Unconstitutional May Effect Nov. Election - CBS News ] ] As a result, nearly every congressional district from El Pasoto San Antonio had to be redrawn, and the primary results for these districts were invalidated. A court drew a new map in which all of Laredo was moved into the 28th district while the south San Antonio area was moved to the 23rd. An election open to all candidates with a runoff if no candidate won 50% was scheduled for the date of the general election, November 7, 2006.In the general election on November 7, 2006, Cuellar had no Republican opposition but handily defeated Ron Avery of McQueeney, the chairman of the conservative Constitution Party in Guadalupe County and trial attorney and Democrat Frank Enriquez of McAllen, taking nearly 68% of the 77,000+ votes.
Cuellar's two main political rivals, Bonilla and Rodriguez, ran against each other in the 23rd, and Rodriguez won the election in the runoff. The Republican Bonilla was hence out of Congress for the first time since his upset election in 1992.
Cuellar is unopposed in the
March 4, 2008, Democratic primary. In the November 4 general election, Cuellar faces Republican James Taylor "Jim" Fish (born 1958), a health care consultant from Cibolo in Guadalupe County. [Julian Aguilar, "DA, sheriff tilts evoke lively campaign brawls", "Laredo Morning Times", January 4, 2008, pp. 1, 11A; http://preview.ussearch.com/preview/newsearch;jsessionid=618096F8C7F060B6E662B8F7B2BCCEF9?searchFName=james&searchMName=&searchLName=fish&searchCity=cibolo&searchState=TX&searchApproxAge=45&adID=10002101&searchtab=people&x=40&y=15]
Career in Congress
However, Cuellar has not always been a party loyalist; he endorsed Republican
George W. Bushfor President in 2000 but supported John F. Kerry in 2004. Additionally, during Bush's 2006 State of the Unionaddress, a " Washington Post" photographer snapped a photo of Cuellar standing on the Republican side of the aisle, beaming as President Bush affectionately grabbed his face. Soon after the release of this photo, campaign contributions for his Democratic primary opponent, Ciro Rodriguez, saw an immediate and significant increase. Rep. Cuellar defeated Ciro in primary election and since then has seen an increased role within the Democratic House Caucus. He has been given a Senior Whip position within the Democratic Caucus, and is also the Subcommittee Chairman for Homeland Security Preparedness, First Responders, and Communications. Cuellar also serves as the only Texas Democrat on the House Committee on Agrigulture.
Cuellar describes himself as a "moderate-centrist". In the 2006 primary, he gained the endorsement of the
Club for Growth, a conservative group that usually endorses Republicans.
When he was first elected, the
Blue Dog Democrats, a group of moderate to conservative Democrats in the House, were in a period of reconsidering membership guidelines and were not accepting new members. He is a member of the New Democrat Coalition.
Endorses Hillary Rodham Clinton
June 15, 2007, Cuellar announced that he was endorsing U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clintonfor President in 2008. "Senator Clinton is the only candidate with the experience and toughness to hit the ground running on her first day in the White House," Cuellar said. Cuellar in 2007 held a fundraiser for Clinton in Laredo, which raised over $200,000 -- aided by the presence of former President Bill Clinton. Laredo's Democratic Mayor Raul G. Salinashas joined Cuellar in early support of Hillary Clinton.
* [http://www.house.gov/cuellar/ U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar] official U.S. House site
* [http://www.henrycuellar.com/ Henry Cuellar for Congressman] official campaign site
* [http://herndon1.sdrdc.com/cgi-bin/can_detail/H2TX23082/ Federal Election Commission — Henry R Cuellar] campaign finance reports and data
* [http://www.ontheissues.org/TX/Henry_Cuellar.htm On the Issues — Henry Cuellar] issue positions and quotes
* [http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/summary.asp?CID=N00024978 OpenSecrets.org — Henry Cuellar] campaign contributions
* [http://www.vote-smart.org/bio.php?can_id=BS023570 Project Vote Smart — Representative Henry Cuellar (TX)] profile
* [http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Henry_Cuellar SourceWatch Congresspedia — Henry Cuellar] profile
* [http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/members/c001063/ Washington Post — Congress Votes Database: Henry Cuellar] voting record
district = 43
hometown = Laredo
William N. "Billy" Hall, Jr.
Pedro G. Nieto
years = 1987–1993TXHouseSuccession box
district = 42
hometown = Laredo
after = Richard Pena Raymond
years = 1993–2001succession box
Secretary of State of Texas
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