The grass-roots group Justice Democrats unveiled plans on Friday to target Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) in the 2020 congressional primaries, dealing an opening salvo in its offensive to expand the slate of progressive Democrats in the House.
The group, which counts Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezAttorney says 75-year-old man shoved by Buffalo police suffered brain injury How language is bringing down Donald Trump Highest-circulation Kentucky newspaper endorses Charles Booker in Senate race MORE (D-N.Y.) as one of its biggest supporters, launched a “Primary Cuellar” fund through the Democrats’ online fundraising portal ActBlue on Friday in an effort to attract potential primary challengers.
Justice Democrats backed insurgent progressives including Ocasio-Cortez and Rep. Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyHow language is bringing down Donald Trump Over 1,400 pro athletes, coaches call on Congress to back bill ending qualified immunity Biden’s right, we need policing reform now – the House should quickly take up his call to action MORE (Mass.) in their successful primaries against longtime Democratic incumbents in 2018.
Cuellar, a seven-term congressman, represents one of the few safe Democratic districts in deep-red Texas. He’s a member of the centrist New Democrat Coalition and Blue Dog Coalition.
In a statement, Justice Democrats cast Cuellar as a Democrat in name only, arguing that his record — voting with President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE nearly 69 percent of the time in the 115th Congress — signaled a betrayal of voters in his district.
“There’s an Ocasio-Cortez and Pressley in blue districts across America tired of seeing long-standing incumbents serve corporate interests, work with Trump’s agenda and work against the progressive movement,” Alexandra Rojas, the group’s executive director, said in a statement.
Ocasio-Cortez, who defeated 10-term former Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) last year in a stunning primary upset, in November threw her support behind the group’s campaign to challenge Democratic incumbents deemed insufficiently progressive or out of touch with voters in their districts.
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