CNN  — 

Jessica Cisneros, the Democratic primary challenger to Rep. Henry Cuellar in Texas, says she plans to file for a recount of their runoff election. Cuellar leads by 197 votes out of more than 45,000 counted so far.

“With just under 0.6 percent of the vote symbolizing such stark differences for the future in South Texas, I owe it to our community to see this through to the end,” Cisneros said in a statement Monday.

According to the latest CNN data, Cuellar currently has 22,788 votes to Cisneros’ 22,591 with an estimated 99% of the count completed.

Cuellar, in a statement, said he welcomed a process that would “only further verify our victory.”

“My opponent has every legal right to call for a recount though she has previously stated that she ‘won’t stop fighting until every vote has been counted.’ Well, every vote has been counted. She has no path to victory,” he said.

The nominating contest in South Texas’s 28th Congressional District, which ranges from parts of San Antonio down to Laredo and other border communities, has been among the most sharply fought and competitive of an election season already roiled by Democratic intra-party clashes. Cisneros, a progressive backed by movement leaders like Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, also ran against Cuellar in 2020. She lost then by about 3.6% in a one-on-one race.

Cisneros narrowed the margin in a three-way race on March 1, coming within about 950 votes and denying Cuellar, who ended up with 48.6% to her 46.7%, the 50% majority required to clinch the nomination outright.

Their runoff attracted another round of national attention and millions in outside spending, the lion’s share of it from moderate and pro-Israel groups supporting Cuellar, the lone anti-abortion Democrat remaining in the House. Cuellar also had the backing of party leaders in Washington, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Majority Whip James Clyburn.

EMILY’s List, which made a late paid push, along with Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren endorsed Cisneros, who was recruited to run by the progressive group Justice Democrats.

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