Prominent progressive group backs Dems for open seats

Prominent progressive group backs Dems for open seats
© Getty Images

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 TrumpTrump says he doesn't want to use 'adversary' to describe Russia Comey urges Americans to vote for Democrats in midterms Roby wins Alabama GOP runoff, overcoming blowback from Trump criticism 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 CruzO'Rourke calls for Trump's impeachment over Putin summit Wisconsin GOP Senate candidate rips his own parents for donations to Dems The Memo: Trump leaves chaos in his wake in UK 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: (Mis)interpreting elections Dems to propose legislation to prevent ICE from shackling pregnant women Rasmussen poll: Nearly three-quarters of Dems want 'fresh face' as nominee in 2020 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.