Ocasio-Cortez endorses progressive Democrat in Georgia congressional primary

Ocasio-Cortez endorses progressive Democrat in Georgia congressional primary
© Greg Nash

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez: Trump contributed less in taxes 'than waitresses and undocumented immigrants' Will Democrats attempt to pack the Supreme Court again? On The Money: Anxious Democrats push for vote on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi, Mnuchin ready to restart talks | Weekly jobless claims increase | Senate treads close to shutdown deadline MORE (D-N.Y.) endorsed a progressive first-time candidate seeking an open House seat in Georgia.

Ocasio-Cortez endorsed Nabilah Islam in the Democratic primary on Tuesday, praising the candidate for petitioning the Federal Election Commission to let her use campaign funds to purchase health insurance

“When I first heard Nabilah’s story it resonated with me deeply,” Ocasio-Cortez said in the endorsement. “Nabilah’s working-class background provides her with unique insight into what Americans go through on a regular basis.”

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Ocasio-Cortez said her Courage to Change PAC will also support Islam in her campaign for Georgia’s 7th Congressional District seat. 

“Her commitment to lifting working people and communities of color is what inspired our Courage to Change PAC to support her,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “Nabilah is not afraid to fight against the status quo. We need more voices like Nabilah’s in Congress.” 

Islam said she is “beyond humbled” to receive the endorsement from the PAC and the congresswomen. She said Ocasio-Cortez, who unseated a longtime Democratic incumbent when she won in 2018, was a “huge influence” on her decision to run. 

“She showed me it was possible to run for office and be unabashedly myself,” Islam said. 

Islam said the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that the country needs “leaders who are prepared to fight for marginalized communities.” 

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“We cannot afford a Congress that only fights for half measures during a full crisis. I look forward to repairing our country with Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez,” Islam added. 

Islam was also endorsed by progressive Reps. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarOmar urges Democrats to focus on nonvoters over 'disaffected Trump voters' Omar fires back at Trump over rally remarks: 'This is my country' Trump attacks Omar for criticizing US: 'How did you do where you came from?' MORE (D-Minn.) and Ro KhannaRohit (Ro) KhannaOvernight Defense: Appeals court revives House lawsuit against military funding for border wall | Dems push for limits on transferring military gear to police | Lawmakers ask for IG probe into Pentagon's use of COVID-19 funds On The Money: Half of states deplete funds for Trump's 0 unemployment expansion | EU appealing ruling in Apple tax case | House Democrats include more aid for airlines in coronavirus package The movement to reform animal agriculture has reached a tipping point MORE (D-Calif.). 

The 30-year-old candidate is running on a progressive platform including support for "Medicare for All," a $15-an-hour minimum wage and a pledge to back the Green New Deal. 

In 2018, the district's election was one of the tightest in the nation. Republican Rep. Rob WoodallWilliam (Rob) Robert WoodallHouse Democrats' campaign arm reserves .6M in ads in competitive districts Hispanic Caucus campaign arm endorses slate of non-Hispanic candidates Democrats go big on diversity with new House recruits MORE narrowly defeated Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux. 

Several Democrats are running in the June 9 primary, including Bourdeaux. 

Republicans are facing a crowded primary of their own after Woodall announced last year he would not seek reelection. 

The seat has long been held by a Republican, but Gwinnett County, which makes up a large portion of the 7th District, voted for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonAppeals court pauses 6-day extension for counting Wisconsin absentee ballots Trump, Pentagon collide over anti-diversity training push Sunday Shows: Trump's court pick dominates MORE in 2016 and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams in 2018, signaling a shift in the electorate’s demographics. 

The Cook Political Report rates the race a "toss-up."