Feb 21, 2020 - Politics & Policy

AOC's PAC endorses slate of progressive female congressional candidates

Ocasio-Cortez.

Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

The political action committee led by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) endorsed Friday a slate of female 2020 congressional candidates, including a number of women of color, in races across the country.

Why it matters: The endorsements, first reported by the New York Times, highlight that Ocasio-Cortez plans to use her fundraising ability and public profile to support candidates that back her progressive aims — and, in the case of the Texas Senate race, directly challenge the party establishment's preferred candidates.

  • In two races, the PAC has chosen to back candidates who are primarying a sitting Democratic member of Congress. Both incumbents break with Democrats' progressive wing on key issues.
  • Illinois' Marie Newman is challenging Rep. Dan Lipinski, an opponent of abortion rights, while Texas' Jessica Cisneros is taking on Rep. Henry Cuellar, who has an A rating from the National Rifle Association.

What she's saying: "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," Ocasio-Cortez told the Times.

  • "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."
  • "Anyone can show up one day and say, 'I support all these policies; that makes me a progressive,' but one of the things that is really important to us is winning."

The Senate endorsement:

  • Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez (Texas)

The House endorsements:

  • Newman
  • Cisneros
  • Teresa Fernandez (New Mexico)
  • Kara Eastman (Nebraska)
  • Georgette Gómez (California)
  • Samelys López (New York)
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