EXCLUSIVE: Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, has accused the political director for the Texas Democratic Party (TDP) of viewing his private voter database without consent prior to his primary runoff election last month for the Lone Star State’s 28th Congressional District.
In a letter sent Tuesday to the co-executive directors for the Texas Democratic Party, Cuellar addressed “grave concerns” and said the state party’s political director, Ryan Garcia, accessed his private account with web hosting company NGP-VAN “without our authorization or consent” on April 25, 2022.
TEXAS ELECTION RESULTS: REP. CUELLAR LEADS CISNEROS BY 177 VOTES IN DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY
“Mr. Garcia is a known Jessica Cisneros supporter, and it appears that he used his official capacity to compromise my private campaign data,” Cuellar wrote.
Noting that the TDP should not “tilt a Primary Election in favor of one candidate,” Cuellar requested that the state party “conduct a full forensic audit of his unauthorized intrusion” into the private database and investigate who the campaign data was shared with.
“Mr. Garcia’s recent conduct has been entirely inappropriate, especially since his actions are outside the scope of his responsibilities,” Cuellar stated in the letter. “He has brought the impartiality of the Texas Democratic Party into question.”
According to the letter, the discovery of Garcia’s login to Cuellar’s VAN account was made on May 26, 2022 – two days after the primary runoff election.
Headquartered in Washington, D.C., and used by the Democratic Party, NGP-VAN is a privately owned voter database and web hosting service provider.
Cuellar, who has served in Congress since 2005, insisted that other Democratic candidates for office in different areas should be concerned over the “integrity of their private VAN campaign data” after Garcia’s “questionable and inappropriate actions.”
“Who else had their private VAN campaign information compromised?” Cuellar asked in the letter. “What are, and what will be future protocols, to preserve the integrity of the private VAN campaign data for all Democratic candidates?”
In response to Cuellar’s letter, Hannah Roe Beck, a co-executive for the Texas Democratic Party, notified him and told him that Garcia had been logged into the database after he was asked “to investigate a potential data breach.” After finding no evidence of one, Beck noted that Garcia “logged out and has not since accessed the VAN account.”
“This user (Ryan Garcia) was logged in for less than a minute into that Committee (Henry Cuellar for U.S. House of Representatives),” NGP-VAN said in a statement issued to TDP. “This user didn’t do anything that generated a User Activity Report in Report Manager (which includes using Create A List, Export from My List, Report Manager, and Data Entry) on this committee. We have confirmed there was no other data entry. Our investigation has verified that this user did not do anything in that Committee beyond log in momentarily.”
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Cuellar led his primary challenger Jessica Cisneros by just 177 votes in their runoff contest after ballots were counted last week.
Fox News did not receive an immediate response from the Texas Democratic Party or the Cisneros campaign.