AOC And Justice Democrats Target A Handful Of Moderate Democrats In 2022 Midterms

AOC and Justice Democrats target a handful of moderate Democrats in 2022 midterms

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With primary day in Texas less than a month away, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez heads to the Lone Star State at the end of this week, to headline a rally on Saturday for two progressive candidates running for Congress.

“Texans, are you ready?” The progressive champion from New York and one of the founding members of the so-called Squad announced on Twitter. “We’re coming in for a major DOUBLE-RALLY next Saturday, Feb 12th… This one’s going to be special.”

OCASIO-CORTEZ HEADING TO TEXAS TO CAMPAIGN AGAINST FELLOW DEMOCRAT

Jessica Cisneros is one of the two candidates Ocasio-Cortez is supporting during Saturday’s rally in San Antonio. Cisneros, for a second straight election, is the primary challenging 10-term moderate Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar in Texas 28th Congressional District, which is located the southern part of the Lone Star State.

Cuellar, a key centrist negotiator in Congress, is being targeted in part because of his resistance last year to linking President Biden’s massive social infrastructure and climate change spending bill to the bipartisan infrastructure package that was passed into law. Cuellar, who’s currently under investigation by the FBI for alleged improper ties to Azerbaijan, is also under attack from the left for his ties to and support from the oil industry.

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Cisneros is being backed by the Justice Democrats, the progressive group founded in 2017 that recruited Ocasio-Cortez, who stunned the political world with her 2018 Democratic primary defeat of longtime Rep. Joe Crowley of New York. The same year Justice Democrats also backed a fellow member Squad member Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, in her primary ouster of veteran Rep. Mike Capuano in the Democratic primary. And they supported fellow “Squad” members Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan in their 2018 elections to Congress, and two years later backed Reps. Cori Bush of Missouri and Jamaal Bowman of New York as they defeated longtime House Democrats in the 2020 primaries.

Rep.  Henry Cuellar (D-TX) speaks on southern border security and illegal immigration, during a news conference at the US Capitol on July 30, 2021 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Kevin Dietsch / Getty Images)

Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) speaks on southern border security and illegal immigration, during a news conference at the US Capitol on July 30, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch / Getty Images)

Fast-forward to 2022 and Justice Democrats are taking aim at Cuellar.

“Few members of the House did more to ensure the demise of the Biden agenda than Cuellar, who teamed up with the Chamber of Commerce and fellow ConservaDems to loudly oppose the Build Back Better Act,” Justice Democrats charged. in a tweet two weeks ago.

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The left is also furious with moderate Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Krysten Sinema of Arizona, for sinking the Democrats’ spending package and for their resistance to making a major change to the legislative filibuster, which would have allowed congressional Democrats sweeping voting reform bill. While neither senator is up for reelection until 2024, there’s already plenty of talk of Sinema facing a serious primary challenge in battleground Arizona, with both Ocasio-Cortez and progressive leader Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont saying they’d be open to supporting such a challenge.

Rep.  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) speaks during a meeting of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform June 12, 2019 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) speaks during a meeting of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform June 12, 2019 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
(Photo by Alex Wong / Getty Images)

But no Democratic senators up for reelection this year are currently facing any threats from the left wing of their party. And Cuellar’s one of only three moderate Democrats facing primary challenges right now from progressives. The other two are Reps. Carolyn Maloney of New York, who’s served 30 years in Congress, and Danny Davis of Illinois, who was first elected to the House in 1996. Two other longtime Democrats who were facing challenges from the left – Reps. Mike Doyle of Pennsylvania and Jim Doyle of Tennessee – are retiring rather than seek another term.

One reason may be that the vast majority of Democratic congressional incumbents are on board with the major pillars of the progressive agenda.

“When you look around, almost the entirety of the Democratic conference in the House is supportive of things like infrastructure, reproductive rights, expanding access to affordable health care, cutting down childhood poverty, voting rights, all the key tenets of the Democratic Party platform. , “Longtime Democratic strategist Joe Caiazzo told Gadget Clock.

“It’s never been more crystal clear in our country’s history the difference between the two parties,” said Caiazzo, a veteran of Sanders’ 2016 and 2020 presidential campaigns.

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Another factor is that Democrats are working against historical headwinds – the party that wins the White House on average loses 25 House seats in the ensuring midterm elections – and a very unfavorable political climate as they try to retain their razor-thin House and Senate majorities in. November.

“Right now is not the time for party infighting,” Caiazzo emphasized. “It’s time to focus on keeping the majority in both chambers.”