Justice Democrats endorses two progressives challenging Democratic incumbents


Justice Democrats, the progressive group that helped elect Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), announced three endorsements Wednesday: two primary challengers to Democratic incumbents and one challenger to a Republican incumbent.

The organization endorsed Alex Morse, Morgan Harper and Kara Eastman, who are running to unseat Reps. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio) and Don Bacon (R-Neb.), respectively. 

“We are honored to endorse these three candidates as part of a new generation of Democrats who will fight for Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, free college, and ending mass incarceration and deportation,” said Justice Democrats Executive Director Alexandra Rojas in a statement. 

According to the statement, Morse is the 30-year-old openly gay mayor of Holyoke, Mass., who has invested in green energy and the arts and also declared his city a “sanctuary city” for immigrants without legal status.

Rojas called Neal a “bulwark against progressive priorities in the Democratic Party.” {mosads}

“I am running for Congress to fight for everyday people — not big corporations and wealthy donors,” Morse said in the statement. “I am eager to work alongside other Justice Democrats to fight for Medicare for All and a Green New Deal, for policies that put working people and working families first, and to defend our democracy from the influence of special interests and corporate money.”

Neal spokesman Peter Panos told The Hill in a statement the congressman is “on the frontlines of holding the Trump Administration accountable.” 

“Richie has always fought to make sure this district gets its fair share and we aren’t left behind,” he said, adding Neal has passed legislation that gave tax cuts to the middle class, saved pension plans and upheld LGBT rights, among other issues.   

Panos also accused Morse of missing “nearly half of the school committee meetings in lead up to the state takeover of the school system.”

Harper was a senior adviser at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and protected Americans against predatory lenders, according to the statement. She also served as a vice president at the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, which helps under-resourced communities.

“For far too long, we have accepted that the federal government works best through incremental change,” Harper said in the statement. “But throughout the history of our country, it has always been bold and progressive actions that have had the most positive impact on our lives.”

Eastman challenged Bacon in 2018 and lost by 2 points after she beat former Rep. Brad Ashford (D-Neb.) in the Democratic primary.

 “Our district continues to face significant challenges — income inequality, racial and social injustice, rising healthcare costs, unhealthy housing, streets in disrepair, and gun violence,” Eastman said in the statement. “With the help of Justice Democrats, I intend to keep spreading the word about our campaign that focuses on raising the minimum wage, proposing bold solutions to combat climate change, addressing corruption in politics and making [sure] no one has to choose between medical care and putting food on the table.”

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) slammed Eastman’s challenge and the Justice Democrats’s endorsement in a statement to The Hill. 

“Comrade Kara Eastman is more delusional than we thought if she imagines the endorsement of a socialist group that’s under federal investigation is a positive in Nebraska,” said NRCC spokesman Bob Salera. “We look forward to Comrade Kara explaining her support for insane socialist polices like the Green New Deal and banning private health insurance.” 

Bacon’s political director Kyle Clark highlighted the candidate’s 2018 victory over Eastman in a statement to The Hill. 

“The voters made their choice in 2018, and they certainly won’t support a candidate backed by the same radical outside group that put Rep. Ocasio-Cortez in office,” Clark said. “The Nebraska primary is still nine months away. Let’s see what happens.”

The Cook Political Report rated the race for Bacon’s district as “lean Republican” for 2020. 

The Hill has reached out to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for comment. 

Tags 2020 elections Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Brad Ashford Joyce Beatty Justice Democrats progressives Richard Neal

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