At the outset of 2022, nine-term Blue Dog Rep. Henry Cuellar (TX-28) looked like a clear favorite in a primary rematch against his former intern, progressive immigration attorney Jessica Cisneros. After all, Cuellar had edged out Cisneros by four points in 2020, and Democrats' precipitous 2020 decline along the Mexico border might have spooked primary voters against embracing a far-left nominee.

But all that changed on January 19, when FBI agents raided Cuellar's Laredo home and campaign office in connection with a probe into Azerbaijan's dealings with U.S. officials, upending the race just six weeks before the March 1 primary.

Cuellar, who co-chairs the Congressional Azerbaijan Caucus and has reportedly facilitated trips of South Texas college students to the tiny oil-rich nation to study business and energy policy, has strenuously denied wrongdoing and insists the FBI probe will clear him. But the timing and imagery couldn't be worse, and it plays into Cisneros's narrative Cuellar is too cozy with special interests.

Since 2004, Cuellar has built a reputation as a pro-border patrol, pro-oil and gas centrist and appropriator who has

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