Justice Democrats issues 3 new endorsements for progressive candidates

Justice Democrats issues 3 new endorsements for progressive candidates

The liberal advocacy group Justice Democrats on Wednesday endorsed two primary challengers to Democratic House incumbents and one Senate candidate looking to unseat Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret Collins2020 Republicans accuse Schumer of snubbing legislation Key Republicans say Biden can break Washington gridlock Feehery: Pivoting to infrastructure could help heal post-impeachment wounds MORE (R-Maine).

The progressive organization, which rose to national prominence after backing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezSanders doubles down on Bolivia 'coup,' few follow suit Hillicon Valley: Progressives oppose funding bill over surveillance authority | Senators call for 5G security coordinator | Facebook gets questions over location tracking | Louisiana hit by ransomware attack Overnight Energy: Mark Ruffalo pushes Congress on 'forever chemicals' | Lawmakers spar over actor's testimony | House Dems unveil renewable energy tax plan | Funding for conservation program passes Senate hurdle MORE (D-N.Y.) in her 2018 primary bid against former Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.), endorsed Marie Newman, who is running against Rep. Daniel LipinskiDaniel William LipinskiDemocratic group to only endorse attorney general candidates who back abortion rights Democrats unveil impeachment procedures The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden camp faces new challenges MORE (D-Ill.), and Cori Bush, who is challenging Rep. Wm. Lacy ClayWilliam (Lacy) Lacy ClayMaloney wins vote for Oversight chairwoman GOP senator blasts Dem bills on 'opportunity zones' 'Squad' members recruit Raskin to run for Oversight gavel MORE (D-Mo.).

On the Senate side, Justice Democrats backed Betsy Sweet in her bid for the Democratic nomination to take on Collins next year.

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“We are proud to endorse these three women as they fight for Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, free college, and ending mass incarceration and deportation,” said Alexandra Rojas, executive director of Justice Democrats, in a statement Wednesday. “This moment demands courage, strength and a new generation of leadership that is actually going to put aside political ambition, and present solutions that match the scale and urgency of the crisis we face.”

Newman, who narrowly lost to Lipinski in last year’s primary race, announced in April that she would challenge him for a second time. The eight-term incumbent has faced an avalanche of criticism from progressives and some mainstream Democrats over his opposition to abortion and his stances on LGBTQ issues.

“Marie is challenging one of the most conservative Democrats in the House who chairs the Pro-Life Caucus, voted against Obamacare, and was one of the only Democrats to vote against an LGBTQ equality bill. The DCCC says it wants unity but how can we unite with someone who is fighting against Democratic values?” said Rojas.

Bush, a registered nurse, is a Black Lives Matter activist and was elected the first vice chairperson of the Missouri Democratic Party Progressive Caucus in 2017. Clay, a 10-term incumbent, has tried to build stronger ties with the progressive flank after he was challenged in the 2018 primary.

“As a single mother, a registered nurse, an ordained pastor, and an organizer fighting police brutality, Cori Bush has lived a life of service to her community,” said Rojas. “Cori represents so many of the voices we need in Congress right now.”

Sweet, who unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination for Maine governor in 2018, announced last month that she would run to take on Collins. She will face a tough challenge in the Democratic primary from Sara Gideon, Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives and the establishment pick who has the support of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

“Betsy has spent her entire life fighting for working families all across the state of Maine,” said Rojas. “It’s clear that Susan Collins has to be replaced with a bold progressive champion who will fight to enact Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, and free college.”

Justice Democrats has already endorsed two other primary challengers to Democratic House incumbents for the 2020 cycle: Jessica Cisneros against Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas and Jamaal Bowman against Rep. Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelMaloney wins vote for Oversight chairwoman Overnight Defense: Protests at Trump's NYC Veterans Day speech | House Dems release Pentagon official's deposition transcript | Lawmakers ask Trump to rescind Erdogan invite Bipartisan House members call on Trump to rescind Erdoğan invitation MORE in New York.

The group has been undeterred by a party policy that forbids awarding contracts to firms that support primary challengers running against incumbent Democrats.

Justice Democrats has also endorsed several House Democratic incumbents.