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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez backs effort to primary Democrats in 2020

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Alexandria
Ocasio-Cortez joined Justice Democrats on a call centered around
a plan that would primary Democrats in 2020.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez 2018

  • Incoming House Democratic Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez lent her
    name to an effort by the group Justice Democrats to primary
    moderate Democrats in 2020.
  • The group wants Democrats to stop taking corporate PAC money,
    or face a progressive challenger in 2020.
  • Ocasio-Cortez has already pushed back against moderate
    Democrats in Washington, attending a sit-in at Rep. Nancy
    Pelosi’s office during her first day of orientation.

Incoming House freshman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is no stranger
to challenging the old guard of the Democratic party, defeating
the 12-term chair of the Democratic House Caucus in a
stunning upset
in the 2018 primaries. 

Now, Ocasio-Cortez appears poised to lead the charge in an effort
to replicate her own success in an push to elect more progressive
Democrats in already blue districts.  

On a Facebook Live
conference call
held Saturday by the progressive group
Justice Democrats, Ocasio-Cortez asked hundreds of viewers to
consider launching their own campaigns, no matter who they’d be
facing. “This is about bringing justice to our system,” said
Ocasio-Cortez. “All Americans know that money in politics is a
huge problem but unfortunately, the way that we fix it is
demanding that our incumbents give it up or by running fierce
campaigns ourselves,” she continued. For Ocasio-Cortez, the issue
seemed to be beyond politics, saying “that’s really what we need
to do to save this country.”

The call marked the launch of Justice
Democrats’ #OurTime campaign. The group, which
initially recruited Ocasio-Cortez to run, has so far focused on
supporting candidates that
 reject money from
corporate PACs and represent progressive stances. Now, according
to their website, Justice Democrats are looking to replicate the
success of Ocasio-Cortez across the county by electing “a new
generation of diverse working-class Democrats who have a
bold vision to transform our economy and democracy.”


Read more:

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is using Instagram stories to bring you
behind the curtain of the Washington, DC establishment

“We are unafraid of taking on out-of-touch incumbents in primary
challenges because we don’t need to just elect more Democrats, we
need to elect better Democrats,” reads the group’s website.

On the call, executive director Saikat Chakrabarti
put the campaign’s mission bluntly: “We have to primary people
because it’s one of the only ways we’ll get working class people,
poor people, people who have great big ideas into the party.”

As inspiration, Ocasio-Cortez shouted out other Justice
Democrats-backed success stories to illustrate that progressive
challenges in primaries were possible: “When you think about the
true vanguard of the progressive movement it is dynamic women
like Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib, and Ilhan Omar and they ran
in blue districts.”

Already, even before being sworn in, Ocasio-Cortez and her class
have begun to push back on the Democratic establishment in
Washington.

On the first day of orientation for freshman House members,
Ocasio-Cortez attended a sit-in in Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s office to
demand the formation of a select committee to draft legislation
that would create a “Green New Deal” — a policy found in Justice
Democrats’ platform. Pelosi is facing a contentious bid to regain
her speaker seat, and Ocasio-Cortez’s support, as a leader among
the new progressive Democrats, could help put talk of a
progressive challenge to bed.

But Ocasio-Cortez isn’t closed off to the possibility that
centrist Democrats can get the job done. When asked about Nancy
Pelosi, Ocasio-Cortez said, “This is not about supporting
or not supporting an individual. It’s about making sure that we
can get as progressive and aggressive of legislation as a party
on climate change as quickly as possible.”

 

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