by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) has endorsed another liberal challenger looking to unseat an incumbent House Democrat backed by party leadership.
Ocasio-Cortez endorsed progressive Jessica Cisneros in her primary challenge against Rep. Henry Cuellar (D., Tex.), citing Cisneros’s status as a “strong new ally in the fight for Medicare for All.” Cisneros is supported by Justice Democrats, the same progressive group that backed Ocasio-Cortez and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) in 2018.
Ocasio-Cortez’s endorsement marks another act of defiance toward Democratic leadership. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairwoman Cheri Bustos (D., Ill.) have endorsed Cuellar.
Ocasio-Cortez attacked Cuellar in her endorsement, accusing the incumbent Democrat of fighting for “big corporate donors” and suggesting he is “quite regressive” compared to his constituency. The Cuellar campaign denounced the freshman congresswoman’s endorsement as out-of-state meddling. Ocasio-Cortez, his spokesman said, does not speak for the people of Texas. …
… Cisneros, 26, did not respond to request for comment. She previously served as an intern in Cuellar’s office before accusing him on the campaign trail of being “Trump’s favorite Democrat” on the campaign trail. She welcomed Ocasio-Cortez’s endorsement on Twitter.
“Our homegrown campaign here in South Texas is making noise across the country — @AOC heard the message of our movement all the way in the Bronx! Proud to have her on our team as we work to fight corporate interests and give power back to the people of TX-28!” she said.