Freshman lawmaker Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has big plans to make Congress more progressive and more female.
The media sensation will endorse over a dozen candidates, all progressive women and support them via her own PAC.
From the NY Times:
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez plans to endorse a slate of progressive challengers to Democratic candidates and incumbents, working to create a liberal counterweight to the party’s official campaign arm.
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez plans on Friday to endorse an all-female slate of progressive candidates through her new political action committee, using her clout in the insurgent left and the considerable campaign funds she has drawn to counter the Democratic establishment in key races around the country.
The endorsements of over a dozen congressional candidates — including one who is challenging Senate Democrats’ preferred candidate in Texas — amount to a powerful stamp of approval for a diverse group of newcomers. They also are a clear sign that Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, a celebrity of the liberal left, intends to leverage her influence among activists to try to reshape the Democratic Party.
The move also underlines the struggle among Democrats that is defining the race for the presidency, which is pitting Senator Bernie Sanders, the self-described democratic socialist, against more moderate candidates who are presenting themselves as better able to appeal to a broad section of voters in taking on President Trump. Ms. Ocasio-Cortez has traversed the country to campaign for Mr. Sanders, and her efforts to pull Congress to the left parallel his bid to deploy his progressive message to emerge as the Democratic nominee, an effort that has instilled fear in many centrist lawmakers who believe it could cost them their seats.
“One of our primary goals is to reward political courage in Congress and also to help elect a progressive majority in the House of Representatives,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said in an interview. “There’s kind of a dual nature to this: One is opening the door to newcomers, and the other is to reward members of Congress that are exhibiting very large amounts of political courage.”
Per TheHill in the committee’s first group of endorsements, Ocasio-Cortez is backing seven women running for congressional seats. She is supporting Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez, a labor and voting rights activist who is running against M.J. Hegar, the Democratic candidate endorsed by the Senate Democrats’ campaign arm in the race against GOP Sen. John Cornyn (Texas).
Ocasio-Cortez is also endorsing Congressional candidates Teresa Fernandez in New Mexico, Samelys López in New York, and Georgette Gómez in California.
She is supporting Democrat Kara Eastman, who is challenging Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) for a second time, The New York Times reported.
The freshman lawmaker has already announced her support for two women who are challenging a pair of House Democrats in primary races. Marie Newman is running against Democratic Rep. Daniel Lipinski (Ill.), in addition to Jessica Cisneros, who is running against Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas.).
Ocasio-Cortez launched the political action committee Courage to Change in January, when she promised to elect “working class champions” and fund campaigns for progressive candidates who may not be supported by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), the House Democrats’ campaign arm.
New: @AOC endorsed Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez in the huge primary to take on @johncornyn, less than two weeks before Election Day. @cristinafortx welcomed the endorsement in a statement. #tx2020 #txsen https://t.co/9XHjBygHt7
— Texas Tribune (@TexasTribune) February 21, 2020