Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Back First 2020 Challenger to Sitting Democrat

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the progressive Democratic star from the Bronx, plans to endorse Marie Newman, who is seeking to oust Representative Daniel Lipinski, a conservative-leaning Illinois Democrat.

The House Democrats’ campaign...

The House Democrats’ campaign arm in April formally broke committee business ties with political consultants and pollsters who sign on to work for primary challengers, infuriating progressive Democrats. The blacklist, Ms. Newman said, “was a very expensive issue for a while on my campaign.”

Progressive groups and lawmakers, however, have still flocked to support Ms. Newman. Representative Ro Khanna of California, and two Illinois lawmakers, Representative Jan Schakowsky and then-Representative Luis V. Gutiérrez, broke with party leadership in 2018 to endorse Ms. Newman, and Mr. Khanna renewed his endorsement this year. Representative Cheri Bustos of Illinois, the chairwoman of House Democrats’ campaign arm, canceled a fund-raiser in support of Mr. Lipinski in May after facing a backlash from the left.

Ms. Newman has also won the support of two candidates in the Democratic presidential primary, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. Ms. Warren last week announced twin endorsements of Justice Democrats candidates, backing both Ms. Newman and Jessica Cisneros[1], who is challenging Representative Henry Cuellar[2] of Texas.

Ms. Cisneros, who was recruited to run against Mr. Cuellar by Justice Democrats and is described by some as the next Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, has yet to win the endorsement of any sitting House Democrat.

“We are so proud that Marie Newman is the first Justice Democrat of this cycle to receive an endorsement from Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez,” said Alexandra Rojas, the executive director of Justice Democrats. “The momentum is growing in our movement to make the Democratic Party fight for solutions as big as the problems we face and create a party that fights for its voters, not corporate donors.”

Until this week, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez had largely focused on helping incumbent freshmen lawmakers, like Representative Joe Neguse of Colorado, a well-liked freshman and member of Democratic leadership whom she will support at a fund-raiser in Boulder this week. In April, she rallied around some of her colleagues who flipped districts President Trump won in 2016, encouraging her Twitter followers to donate to their campaigns.


  1. ^ Jessica Cisneros (
  2. ^ challenging Representative Henry Cuellar (

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