Prominent progressive group backs Dems for open seats

Prominent progressive group backs Dems for open seats
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Prominent liberal group Democracy for America (DFA) made a new wave of midterm House endorsements Thursday, backing two candidates running for open seats in Texas and Colorado.

DFA backed Veronica Escobar, a candidate in the race for Texas's 16th congressional district, and Joe Neguse, a candidate in Colorado's 2nd district.

In releases provided first to The Hill, DFA praised Escobar for understanding the needs of her district, including the "dangers El Paso’s border community face" in the wake of President Trump's immigration crackdown, calling her a key player in the future fights against the administration's agenda.

“Democracy for America members are excited to support Veronica Escobar for Congress because we know the experience she has standing up for racial, gender, and economic justice and we’re certain she’ll be a critical ally in the fights for the populist progressive reforms we need to confront Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpDems flip Wisconsin state Senate seat Sessions: 'We should be like Canada' in how we take in immigrants GOP rep: 'Sheet metal and garbage' everywhere in Haiti MORE’s hate-fueled agenda,” DFA Chairman Jim Dean said in a statement.

Escobar is running for a seat in a largely liberal district that is being vacated by Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), who is challenging incumbent Republican Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzWith religious liberty memo, Trump made America free to be faithful again Interstate compacts aren't the right way to fix occupational licensing laws Texas Dem: ‘I don’t know what to believe’ about what Trump wants for wall MORE for his Senate seat.

Escobar, who has O’Rourke's support, is running in a crowded primary that includes two other women who are well-known in the community.

The third-generation El Paso resident has vowed to continue her efforts to bring affordable health care to the community.

DFA also commended Neguse for the "progressive values" he will bring to the state if elected.

"Democracy for America members are thrilled to support Joe Neguse for Congress because he’s already done great things for Colorado and our country needs the next generation of progressive leaders like him on the national stage," Dean said.

Neguse, the son of Eritrean immigrants, said he plans to push for Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersMellman: On Political Authenticity (Part 2) Former Sanders campaign manager: Don't expect email list to be shared with DNC Adult film star: Trump and Stormy Daniels invited me to 'hang out' MORE's (I-Vt.) single-payer "Medicare for all" system, $15 hourly minimum wage and fight against the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision.

Neguse stepped down from his job as the head of the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies in late June to run for the seat that was vacated by Democratic incumbent Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), who is now running for governor.

In addition to getting local Democratic leaders to endorse his candidacy, Neguse's progressive platform will likely give him a leg up in the left-leaning 2nd District as he seeks to win Polis's seat.

He is also facing a packed primary, going up against at least two other Democrats who are similarly interested in the open seat.

The DFA's endorsements could boost the candidates' chances against their Democratic rivals.

The group, founded in 2004 by former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean (D), has already been active in both House and Senate campaigns this cycle, making rounds of earlier endorsements.