Ocasio-Cortez appears in video for progressive group aiming to oust more incumbent Dems

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) appears in a video released Wednesday by Justice Democrats, a group focused on ousting incumbent Democrats in favor of more progressive candidates.

The nearly nine-minute promotional video released by Justice Democrats focuses on the need to recruit more diverse candidates to run for office. 

It heavily features the New York representative, who stunned the political world last year by ousting longtime congressman Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) in a primary.

{mosads}Ocasio-Cortez had the support of Justice Democrats during her successful campaign.

“Everybody knows someone in their life that is already an amazing public servant,” Ocasio-Cortez says in the video as she sits around a table with three co-founders of Justice Democrats.

“Nominate that amazing public servant to take their service to the halls of Congress. Give them that nudge,” she adds.

Ocasio-Cortez recounts that her name was submitted to the Justice Democrats by her brother as somebody who should run for office.

“My brother told me he had sent my nomination in the summer, but I was like literally working out of a restaurant then, there’s no way,” said Ocasio-Cortez, a former bartender.

Ocasio-Cortez then explains that Justice Democrats helped push her into running for office by introducing her to other people interested in making political change.

“There’s a lot of people in the Democratic caucus,” she says. “When we are courageous enough to just puncture the silence on an issue, they will start to move.”

The video also features Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, who is also one of the co-founders of Justice Democrats.

Justice Democrats have said they will support more primary challengers to House incumbents in safe blue districts in 2020, and have made Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) their first target.

The group have argued that Cuellar, a former chairman of the centrist Blue Dog Coalition, votes with President Trump almost 70 percent of the time, and have labeled him a “fake Democrat.”

Cuellar has said the polling in his district shows that his constituents are “more moderate, conservative Democrats.”

“What happened to the Democratic Party being a tent?” Cuellar asked reporters last week, according to Roll Call. “I think the goal is to expand Democrats and not go after Democrats.” 

Ocasio-Cortez, however, has not publicly called for someone to challenge Cuellar.

Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Donald Trump Justice Democrats progressives

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