By MAIREAD MCARDLE February 21, 2020
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez plans to endorse a group of progressive women running for Congress on Friday through her political action committee, including one who is running against Senate Democrats’ preferred candidate in Texas.
“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 New York 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,’” the freshman Democrat said. “But one of the things that is really important to us is winning.”
The 30-year-old New York progressive, who shot to notoriety in 2018 when she ousted powerful Democratic congressman Joe Crowley, will endorse over a dozen women running for Congress through her political action committee Courage to Change, which launched in January on a promise to support progressive “working class champions.”
Among those Ocasio-Cortez will announce her support for are labor organizer Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez, who is seeking to oust Republican Senator John Cornyn, snubbing the Democratic candidate endorsed by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, M. J. Hegar.
The congresswoman will also grant her endorsement to Teresa Fernandez in New Mexico, Samelys López in New York, and Georgette Gómez in California, who are all running for open seats in Democratic districts.
Ocasio-Cortez has already endorsed Marie Newman, who is running against one of the only pro-life House Democrats, Representative Daniel Lipinski of Illinois, and thrown her support behind Jessica Cisneros, who is challenging Democratic Representative Henry Cuellar of Texas.
Ocasio-Cortez’s mission to guide the Democratic Party in a more progressive direction has been a powerful fundraising tool. Her campaign raised $1.4 million in January alone, many of the donations going straight to her political action committee.
Last month, she announced that she would not pay dues to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which works to elect Democrats to the House.
“It’s important for us to create mechanisms of support because so much of what is happening in Washington is driven by fear of loss,” the congresswoman said. “We can really create an ecosystem that makes people more comfortable into making the leap to make politically courageous choices.”