POLITICS: TAMIU alumna runs for state representative

POLITICS: TAMIU alumna runs for state representative

By Jorge Espinoza
Bridge Social Media Co-Manager
Published Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024

A TAMIU alumna and former Webb County Tax Assessor-Collector hopes to move up to the state level of Texas politics as she bids for a state representative seat.

Rio Bravo Municipal Court Judge Rosie Cuellar, D-Laredo, announced her candidacy for House District 80 state representative. This seat is currently occupied by Rep. Tracy King, D-Uvalde, who is not seeking reelection.

Municipal Judge Rosie Cuellar
Submitted photo courtesy Rosie Cuellar
Rio Bravo Municipal Court Judge Rosie Cuellar is running in the Democratic primary for House District 80.

The primary is scheduled for March 5, when Cuellar faces off against at least two opponents: Carlos Lopez, chair of the Uvalde County Democratic Party, and Cecillia Castellano, a construction firm executive from Atascosa County. A primary runoff is scheduled for May 28 and the general election on Nov. 5.

Rosie Cuellar is running for state representative.
Submitted photo courtesy Rosie Cuellar
TAMIU alumna Rosie Cuellar, former Webb County tax assessor-collector, is running in the Democratic primary for House District 80.

“It is amazing,” Cuellar said of Texas A&M International University. “I’ve been there for several events, there’s so many programs and [it] has the best professors from all over.”

Cuellar said she admires the University’s growth, and is impressed by the resources it offers students.

“Giving back,” Cuellar noted. “Being at TAMIU, I was involved in many organizations … because we have those ideals that we wanna conquer and change the world, and I think it’s something we should never forget—no matter how old we are or how cynical the world may be.”

Cuellar values the philanthropy younger individuals want to offer their community. Cuellar reminisces on her time at TAMIU and the values she gained while attending, and how she’s been able to incorporate them into her life today.

“There’s many pressing issues facing the state, and education has always been one of them,” Cuellar said. “I think education is the equalizer for students who don’t have that opportunity … I think that’s what all our students deserve, no matter where they come from.”

Cuellar said she understands the importance of education and believes all students deserve one.

Cuellar runs for state representative.
Submitted photo courtesy Rosie Cuellar
Cuellar stands in front of one of her political signs for the House District 80 seat.

“Of course, I was one of those students,” Cuellar said. “My dad was a gardener for most of his life and my mother was a stay-at-home mom, but they always told us we had to get a good education and work hard.”

Coming from a low-income family, Cuellar sympathizes with students in a similar situation, and carries the messages from her parents into her campaign.

“I started in campaigns [when] I was 18 because my brother ran for state rep,” Cuellar said. “I saw that it was so important to get involved, not necessarily to run for office … but to vote.”

Cuellar acknowledged the importance of getting involved in politics at a young age, and the influence a young voter can offer.

“I think it’s important we show our students that people do care—and it’s a cliché—but you all are the future,” Cuellar said.

Cuellar expressed her respect for the younger generations and recognizes the importance young voters bring to the community.

“I really believe anything is possible,” Cuellar said. “It just really takes a lot of hard work. You guys have to make the right choices … and focus on what’s right. You just have to believe in yourself and always give that helping hand.”

Cuellar offered a sentiment to students: she believes that through hard work and focusing on the right ideals, students can accomplish their goals and gain success.

Her brother, TAMIU alumnus Congressman Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, serves the 28th District. Their brother, Martin Cuellar, serves as Webb County sheriff.


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