Enrique Roberto “Henry” Cuellar is an American attorney and politician who has served as the U.S. representative for Texas’s 28th congressional district since 2005. He is a member of the Democratic Party. His district extends from the Rio Grande to San Antonio’s suburbs.
Early life and education
Cuellar spent most of his life in Laredo, the county seat of Webb County in South Texas, where he was born. His parents are both Mexican Americans.
His father, Martin Siller Cuellar Sr. (1926–2019), was a Mexican immigrant who was born in Tamaulipas. His mother was the former Odilia Perez, a Zapata, Texas, native (1928–2015).
Cuellar went to Buenos Aires Elementary School, where he developed his reading skills, and later graduated from J. W. Nixon High School in 1973. He graduated from Laredo Community College, then Laredo Junior College, with an associate of arts degree. He later taught government at the institution.
Later, he enrolled at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service, where he earned a degree with honors.
Cuellar started his own law practice in Laredo in 1981, and in 1983 he obtained his license as a customs broker. He served as a visiting professor of international commercial law at Texas A&M International University from 1984 to 1986.
One of eight children, Cuellar was. His father was a migrant worker who was an immigrant. Martin Cuellar, a brother, is the Webb County deputy. In Rio Bravo, the local judge is a sister named Rosie Cuellar.
Two daughters were born to him and his wife Imelda. Cuellar played George Washington in 2014 at the Laredo Washington’s Birthday Celebration.
Cuellar practices Catholicism.
Three robbers took Cuellar at gunpoint and stole his car outside of his Washington, DC, apartment on October 2, 2023, about 9:30 p.m. ET. The suspects took Cuellar’s car and his luggage, but a short time later, police found the car and all of Cuellar’s possessions. Cuellar, it seems, was uninjured. Police are still looking into the matter in 2023 January.
Henry Cuellar is a moderate-centrist Democrat who is known for his bipartisanship. He voted with the Democratic caucus 96.8% of the time in the 117th Congress, and 87.9% of the time during the Trump administration. He was ranked the 6th-most bipartisan member of the House of Representatives in the first session of the 117th United States Congress.
House of Representatives of Texas
From 1987 until 2001, Cuellar was a representative for the greater part of Laredo in the Texas House of Representatives. He held leadership positions on the House Budgets, Higher Education, and Calendar committees throughout his 14 years as a state legislator. Additionally, he sat on a number of national committees that dealt with international trade, state budgets, and the border between the United States and Mexico.
Secretary of State for Texas
Cuellar was appointed by Texas Governor Rick Perry to serve as secretary of state in 2001. He worked in the office for a little over nine months until leaving, at which point Geoff Connor took the duties of the post. Cuellar will be the final Democratic to hold the position as of 2023.
Cuellar, who served as Texas Secretary of State for a short while, issued a view that, while not legally binding, stated that the Texas Constitution banned home-rule groups from using ranked-choice voting in their elections. This viewpoint has served as the city of Austin’s main reason for rejecting the city’s 2021 Proposition E, which would have introduced ranked-choice voting in Austin.