In the wake of the horrific massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on Tuesday, Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez blasted her party\u0026#039;s leadership for supporting an incumbent in the state whose record and policy positions earned him an \u0022A\u0022 rating from the National Rifle Association.\r\n\r\n\u0022On the day of a mass shooting and weeks after news of [the Supreme Court\u0026#039;s impending decision to overturn Roe v. Wade], Democratic Party leadership rallied for a pro-NRA, anti-choice incumbent under investigation in a close primary. Robocalls, fundraisers, all of it,\u0022 Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) wrote in a series of tweets.\r\n\r\n\u0022Congress should not be an incumbent protection racket.\u0022\r\n\r\nThe New York Democrat was referring to Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), whose campaign for a 10th term in the U.S. House was boosted by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), and Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.).\r\n\r\n\u0022Accountability isn\u0026#039;t partisan,\u0022 she added. \u0022This was an utter failure of leadership. Congress should not be an incumbent protection racket and sadly it is treated as such by far too many. The fact is those who fail their communities deserve to lose. They don\u0026#039;t need rescuing from powerful leaders who state they fight for gun safety, the right to choose, and more.\u0022\r\n\r\nThe New York Democrat\u0026#039;s scathing message came as the results of Cuellar\u0026#039;s runoff contest against progressive challenger Jessica Cisneros rolled in late Tuesday. As of this writing, Cuellar leads by fewer than 180 votes and has declared victory while Cisneros—whose campaign had the backing of Ocasio-Cortez and other progressives—noted that the race remains too close to formally call.\r\n\r\nGiven the razor-thin margins of the runoff, Ocasio-Cortez argued Tuesday that \u0022if Cuellar wins, leadership\u0026#039;s decision to go to the mat for a pro-NRA incumbent will be the reason why.\u0022\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe last time leadership waded in to save him, he thanked them by obstructing the party’s signature legislation, paving the way for the child tax credit to collapse and imperiling millions while taking a victory lap for it.\r\n\r\nWe can’t afford to reward such acts. We can do better.\r\n— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 25, 2022\r\n\r\n\r\nCuellar and Cisneros both condemned the shooting in Uvalde, where a gunman killed at least 19 children and two teachers in the deadliest school massacre since Sandy Hook. Since that 2012 atrocity, there have been more than 3,500 mass shootings in the U.S. as Congress has repeatedly failed to pass meaningful reforms to the nation\u0026#039;s gun laws.\r\n\r\n\u0022I am heartbroken over the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School,\u0022 Cuellar tweeted Tuesday. \u0022Families, the South Texas community, and the entire nation are in mourning. Let us pray for peace. Let us come together for our neighbors that need support. And let us remember the bright lives we lost today.\u0022\r\n\r\nIn response, Cuellar\u0026#039;s critics pointed to his past donations from the NRA and favorable rating from the gun lobby, which aggressively fights even the most basic gun-safety regulations. As CNBC reported, Cuellar \u0022has received thousands of dollars in donations from the group since he was elected to Congress over a decade ago.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022Cuellar received $6,950 in donations from the NRA Political Victory Fund during his reelection campaign [in 2018,]\u0022 the outlet noted.\r\n\r\nIn 2019, Cuellar\u0026#039;s campaign rebuffed calls to return the NRA donations or give them to charity following mass shootings in Texas and other states that year.\r\n\r\nSince Sandy Hook, the nation has experienced more than 3,500 mass shootings, according to the Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit organization that tracks gun violence and defines a mass shooting as an incident in which four or more people are killed or injured.