Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is backing a challenger, hoping to unseat a conservative-leaning House Democrat in Illinois.
In her first endorsement of a candidate in the 2020 House race, Ocasio-Cortez announced her backing of Marie Newman on Tuesday, Sept. 17.
Newman, who lost the race in 2018 by around 2,000 votes, is running against Rep. Dan Lipinski in Illinois’ 3rd congressional district, reported The Hill.
In an interview with The New York Times, Ocasio-Cortez said, “Marie Newman is a textbook example of one of the ways that we could be better as a party — to come from a deep blue seat and to be championing all the issues we need to be championing.”
Regarding her perspective on Lipinski, she said, “the fact that a deep blue seat is advocating for many parts of the Republican agenda is extremely problematic. We’re not talking about a swing state that is being forced to take tough votes.”
“If we’re going to make these changes, they need to come from safe blue seats,” she added.
Newman responded in a statement saying she is “thrilled” to have the endorsement.
Newman, who also picked up endorsements from Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, is a supporter of progressive initiatives like the Green New Deal and Medicare for All.
“This campaign is about putting someone in place that is in alignment directly with the district on issues like affordability for the middle class and working families, the Green New Deal,” said Newman, adding that she and Ocasio-Cortez “share some very similar values.”
Alexandra Rojas, the executive director of Justice Democrats, told reporters: “We are so proud that Maria Newman is the first Justice Democrat of this cycle to receive an endorsement from Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.”
“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.”
Lipinski, an anti-abortion Democrat, and has billed himself in campaign ads as “a workhorse, not a show horse,” faced a tough primary in 2018, during which progressive lawmakers broke with House Democrats support for him.
He also voted against the Affordable Care Act, and expressed concern that it is “detrimental” to the Democratic Party to push out conservative lawmakers.