These voters, many of whom expressed support for abortion rights but said they would still vote for an anti-abortion MP, revealed the tough battle Ms Cisneros faces as she tries to convince voters to dismiss a well-known political figure whose family has long been a fixture in the community. Even among Democrats, support for abortion rights may not consistently motivate voters, especially working-class Latinos, a demographic that has shown signs of distance from the party.
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Hector Gomez, 67, meets Mr. He has been a classmate since JW Nixon High School in the 1970s, and has voted for the deputy in every election since running for office in 2006.
“He’s doing his job,” Mr. Gomez, who owns an antique shop, added that while he is a Catholic and opposes abortion, the issue does not determine his vote. “Mr. Cuellar is the best choice because he is not the only one who can rule it out. “
The 28th Texas Congressional District extends from the Mexican border to San Antonio, and Laredo is its political center. A working-class city, it has been a Democratic stronghold for decades, but remains culturally conservative, with residents filling the Catholic church pews on Sundays. Many describe themselves as apolitical and say they are more focused on reaching the end of the month than on positions on partisan political issues.
Prior to the leaked Supreme Court opinion this week, abortion had not been the central theme of the primary campaign, although several national abortion rights groups had invested heavily in the district, focusing on se in the new state abortion restrictions in Texas. Ms. Cisneros did not run a TV ad on the subject until late last month, according to AdImpact, an ad tracking company. Until abortion attention was renewed this week, runoff had been a mostly dormant issue, with observers predicting extremely low turnout.
Now, Mrs. Cisneros and his supporters have moved to use the threat to the right to abortion as main motivator for both voters and donors.
“We are really at a time when people are on fire and know the risk of losing,” said Kristin Ford, vice president of communications and research for the abortion rights group NARAL Pro-Choice America, which has sent organizers to Laredo to campaign for Ms. Cisneros.