Asking Henry to join us
Down in South Texas, there is a Democrat who votes a lot like a Republican. I'm talking about Henry Cuellar, who was just re-elected in District 28. Therefore, it makes a lot of sense for future speaker McCarthy to woo the guy from #28. This is from a story in the Wall Street Journal:
Allies of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) made multiple calls to Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas over the weekend and asked him if he would switch parties to expand the GOP majority, according to five people familiar with the calls.
The pitch to Mr. Cuellar came as Mr. McCarthy struggles to reach the 218-vote threshold needed on the House floor to secure the speakership if his party wins a narrow majority.
One person said Mr. Cuellar, who sits on the powerful appropriations committee, was offered committee positions and asked what it would take for him to switch.
Mr. Cuellar turned them down, according to multiple people.
For a little update, McCarthy will be the speaker if the GOP wins the House, and they are pretty close to winning.
My sense is that Cuellar will remain a Democrat just like Senator Manchin stays in his party. They both have more power as the maverick in their parties. In other words, everybody is wooing them for their elusive votes. Also, Rep. Cuellar may be positioning himself to run for governor of Texas in 2026. Cuellar may be the only Democrat who can win a county in Texas outside Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio.
Congratulations to future speaker McCarthy for trying to flip Henry. I hope he keeps trying, because South Texas became more competitive in 2022.
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Image: Rick Reinhard.