The progressive freshman congresswoman on Friday endorsed a slate of other progressive women for the Senate and House on Friday, in what might be her biggest confrontation yet with the traditional Democratic campaign organizations she’s scrapped with over the past year since she took office.
The endorsements, via a new PAC formed in January called Courage to Change, include candidates running in open primaries, those running against establishment-backed candidates, and even some who are running against incumbent Democrats in the House, according to the New York Times.
Those endorsed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez so far include labor activist and Texas Senate candidate Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez, who’s running in an open primary against MJ Hegar, a 2018 House candidate who’s backed by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. The winner of the Democratic primary will take on Sen. John Cornyn in November.
Ocasio-Cortez also threw her support behind four candidates running for the House: Teresa Leger Fernandez in New Mexico, San Diego City Council president Georgette Gómez, community organizer Samelys López in the Bronx district that borders Ocasio-Cortez’s, and Kara Eastman, who narrowly lost her bid for a Nebraska congressional seat to Republican Don Bacon in 2018.
Ocasio-Cortez had previously backed Marie Newman and Jessica Cisneros, progressive women challenging Reps. Dan Lipinski of Illinois and Henry Cuellar of Texas, two of the most conservative House Democrats in the caucus.
Although the full slate of “over a dozen female candidates” hasn’t yet been released, Courage to Change has also sent money to three other incumbent progressive freshmen since 2019, according to an FEC filing in January: Reps. Katie Porter and Mike Levin of California, as well as Rep. Jahana Hayes of Connecticut.
AOC’s backing helps left-wing Democrats circumvent the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the House Democrats’ campaign arm she’s clashed with repeatedly over the past year; in January, she announced she would stop paying DCCC dues (but then, she’s one of the few members of Congress who can afford to do that; last year, she raised nearly $6 million, according to Politico).