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AOC’s PAC throws weight behind 7 progressive women candidates with endorsements

Democratic freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York announced on Friday that her political action committee will endorse a series of progressive women congressional candidates, including challengers to incumbent Democrats.

Ocasio-Cortez said on Twitter that the group, Courage to Change, is endorsing seven women candidates. Six of them are running for House seats and one is running for a Senate seat.

Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez, one of the candidates to get an endorsement, is running in the Democratic primary in the race to challenge Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas. She will be competing in a crowded field of Democratic candidates, including MJ Hegar, who has been endorsed by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the campaign arm for Senate Democrats.

Two of the candidates are mounting primary challenges to incumbent House Democrats and have been previously endorsed by Ocasio-Cortez: Marie Newman, a Democrat challenging Democratic Rep. Dan Lipinski in Illinois and Jessica Cisneros, a Democrat challenging Democratic Rep. Henry Cueller in Texas.

One of the candidates, Kara Eastman in Nebraska, is running in the Democratic primary to challenge Republican Rep. Don Bacon.

Several of the endorsed Democratic candidates, Teresa Fernandez in New Mexico, Georgette Gomez in California and Samelys Lopez in New York, are running for open congressional seats where the current officeholders are either not seeking reelection or running for a different office.

The endorsements are from Courage to Change, Ocasio-Cortez’s leadership PAC, which has raised $340,297 to date, through 23,469 contributions, Corbin Trent, a senior aide to Ocasio-Cortez, told CNN. They plan to max out to each of the endorsees.

News of the endorsements was first reported by The New York Times.

The endorsements stand as the high-profile congresswoman’s latest move to leverage her own political following in a bid to boost progressive candidates running for office. The outcome of the races may serve as a test of how well that will translate and in some cases, the endorsements will put her at odds with the Democratic establishment.

“It’s time to elect a progressive majority in Congress accountable to strong, grassroots movements that push support for issues like Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, racial justice, & more,” the congresswoman said on Twitter in announcing the endorsements.

Ocasio-Cortez announced the formation of Courage to Change in January, saying at the time on Twitter, “The rumors are true. Today we’re announcing the Courage to Change PAC – and we need your help. We are pushing the envelope in DC by rewarding those who reject lobbyist money, fight for working families,& welcome newcomers.”

Article Topic Follows: Politics

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