Ocasio-Cortez backs campaigns to replace Dem incumbents with progressives

Ocasio-Cortez backs campaigns to replace Dem incumbents with progressives
© Stefani Reynolds

Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), implored more than 700 attendees of a Justice Democrats strategy call to run for office against incumbent Democrats as well as Republicans in their home districts.

During the video call with supporters Saturday evening, Ocasio-Cortez remarked that her own journey to the House began on the other end of a Justice Democrats strategy call while calling on supporters to mount similar bids in their own districts around the country.

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"Long story short, I need you to run for office," she said on the call. "All I’m asking you to do is throw your hat in the ring, say 'what the heck.' ”

Ocasio-Cortez was elected Tuesday after running a successful primary against Rep. Joseph Crowley, who was House Democratic Caucus Chairman.

The incoming lawmaker added that she and other members of the Justice Democrats, a group of progressives seeking to shift the Democratic Party left, would support challenges to incumbent Democrats they view as insufficiently aligned with the views of progressives in the party, particularly on the issue of corporate campaign donations.

"All Americans know money in politics is a huge problem, but unfortunately the way that we fix it is by demanding that our incumbents give it up or by running fierce campaigns ourselves," she said.

“I don't think people who are taking money from pharmaceutical companies should be drafting health-care legislation. I don't think people who are taking money from oil and gas companies should be drafting climate legislation,” she added.

Ocasio-Cortez made headlines this week when a reporter from the Washington Examiner, a right-leaning newspaper, appeared to question her claims of financial struggles in a tweet stating that her "jacket and coat don’t look like a girl who struggles."

"If I walked into Congress wearing a sack, they would laugh & take a picture of my backside," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted in response. "If I walk in with my best sale-rack clothes, they laugh & take a picture of my backside."

"Dark hates light - that’s why you tune it out. Shine bright & keep it pushing."