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Martin Cuellar, Rosie Cuellar (Texas Observer)
The Cuellars have for years campaigned for separate offices. Justin Miller/Texas Observer

Indicted Rep. Henry Cuellar’s Family Got Mixed Elections Results

Martin Cuellar won renomination as Webb County sheriff, but Rosie Cuellar lost in a primary runoff for a state House seat.

Indicted Rep. Henry Cuellar’s siblings got mixed results in their respective primary elections in Texas on Tuesday night, with one win and one loss.

Rosie Cuellar lost in the runoff for the Democratic nomination for battleground state House district TX-80, while her brother Martin Cuellar won his primary runoff for another term as Webb County sheriff, a position he’s held since 2008.

“Thank you, Laredo and Webb County! Your continued support is greatly appreciated. Here’s to 4 more years,” Martin Cuellar posted to Facebook.

The Cuellar name is powerful in the districts where both siblings had been running. But as Rep. Henry Cuellar faces allegations of bribery and self-dealing, his siblings’ work has also come under scrutiny. NOTUS reported last week that while Rosie Cuellar was paid as a judge in a small town outside of Laredo, she heard zero cases. NOTUS also reported on allegations from former staff in the sheriff’s office that Martin Cuellar has used the department to politically support the family.

Rosie Cuellar’s bid for statehouse was buoyed by her congressman brother, who gave her more than $65,000 in in-kind donations for her campaign, though her challenger reached a decisive victory.

Martin Cuellar won by a significant margin against former employee Wayo Ruiz.

“It’s hard to go against El Partido Viejo, I will say we gave him a run for his money,” Ruiz said in a text. “We will see how the FBI investigation turns out.”

“I will say we made a lot of good friends along the way,” he added.

Now, Cecilia Castellano will go on to face Don McLaughlin, former Uvalde mayor, in the November election for TX-80, and Martin Cuellar is set to assume the role of Webb County sheriff for another term.

Casey Murray is a NOTUS reporter and an Allbritton Journalism Institute fellow.