Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) will use her considerable star power to help other progressive women achieve what she did two years ago — take on the Democratic Party establishment.
The freshman congresswoman, whose insurgent campaign’s success against a high-ranking member of the Democratic leadership rattled the party in 2018, endorsed eight new female candidates on Friday who are running against party-preferred candidates and two sitting Democratic congressmen.
Ocasio-Cortez’s sanctioned slate of newcomers includes voting rights activist Christina Tzintzun Ramirez, who is challenging Washington’s pick to take on Republican Sen. John Cornyn in Texas. The others are running in House races.
“It’s time to elect a progressive majority in Congress accountable to strong, grass-roots movements that push support for issues like Medicare-for-all, a Green New Deal, racial justice, & more,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted after she announced her endorsements. “It’s time to elect public servants with the Courage to Change.”
Ocasio-Cortez began a political action committee called Courage to Change in January to invest in the candidates, but noted that it would refuse all corporate donations and instead turn to grass-roots support for its funding — the Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) model.
When Ocasio-Cortez upset congressman Joseph Crowley, whose name had been mentioned as a future speaker of the House, she vowed to help other progressives with little means take on Democrats they felt insufficiently represent the interests of the people in their districts.
Her PAC describes the type of candidates she’s looking to amplify as “people who refuse to bow to establishment pressure, who advocate ferociously for working-class families, and who have lived the same struggles as the people they seek to represent.”
Three of the women Ocasio-Cortez endorsed Friday, Teresa Fernandez in New Mexico, Samelys López in New York and Georgette Gómez in California, are running for open Democratic seats. A fourth, Cara Eastman in Nebraska, is making her second run against sitting Republican Rep. Don Bacon whom she nearly beat in 2018.
The other two candidates are taking on Democratic incumbents. Jessica Cisneros is running against Rep. Henry Cuellar (Texas) and Marie Newman who is challenging Rep. Daniel Lipinski (Ill.).
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