Mar 20, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Top progressive group endorses Summer Lee, Andy Kim

Rep. Summer Lee, D-Pa., arrives to the U.S. Capitol for the last votes of the week on Friday, January 12, 2024.

Rep. Summer Lee. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

A leading progressive group is throwing its support behind Reps. Summer Lee (D-Pa.), a member of the "Squad," and Andy Kim (D-N.J.) as they both face establishment forces in their 2024 primaries, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Pro-Israel groups have moved to boot progressives from their seats in November, and Lee has been one of the top focuses of that effort.

  • The endorsement from MoveOn is part of a groundswell of left-wing organizations rushing to back lawmakers who have criticized Israel's actions in Gaza and been targeted by pro-Israel groups as a result.
  • "We need all hands on deck to ensure that our representation in Congress continues to champion working people," Rahna Epting, MoveOn executive director, said in a statement shared first with Axios.
  • Kim is matched up against Democrat Tammy Murphy, the wife of New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, whose institutional backing in the state has made the race for indicted Sen. Bob Menendez's seat an uphill climb.

The big picture: Lee, one of the eight members of the Squad, has a Democratic primary challenger that pro-Israel groups hope can unseat her.

  • "Reject AIPAC", a coalition of 25 left wing groups, has vowed to spend on behalf of progressive candidates who are targeted by the prominent pro-Israel PAC.
  • Murphy, Kim's opponent in the race to replace indicted Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), has the support of major party officials in the state.

Zoom in: The endorsement from MoveOn, a grassroots group with over 10 million members according to a group spokesperson, includes fundraising support for the Lee and Kim campaigns.

  • MoveOn said it will also do ground campaigning and voter contact for the candidates.
  • MoveOn members in New Jersey and Pennsylvania voted to approve the endorsements.

What they're saying: Epting nodded to the "unprecedented flood of spending against progressive candidates" in the endorsements of Lee and Kim.

  • Kim told Axios in a statement that MoveOn will be "instrumental partners in bringing our statewide grassroots energy to a whole new level."
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