Emboldened progressives target House seat in western Pennsylvania
Far-left activists hope to build on the momentum of a strong performance in Texas by shifting their immediate focus to western Pennsylvania, where state Rep. Summer L. Lee is running to transform the Party Democrat in the primary race for the 12th congressional district.
The Progressives’ victories in three races in Texas last week were significant “because of the ripple effect they create so that other candidates in subsequent primaries may also have a chance to win,” said Alexandra Rojas, executive director of Justice Democrats, the far-left group that spawned Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.
Ms Rojas said on a virtual conference call this week that the results in Texas “keep the door open and bring more and more justice and working-class Democrats to some of the highest levels of power.”
She applauded the group’s volunteers, saying their phone banking, canvassing and donations had made a huge difference in Texas. Ms Rojas urged them to focus that same energy on propelling Ms Lee to victory in the May 17 primaries in Pennsylvania.
“We have to get to work,” she said.
Ms Rojas said her group was looking to raise $100,000 before the end of the month to fund their pro-Lee campaign.
Liberal groups emerged from the Texas primary with added momentum in their stride after former Austin City Councilman Greg Casar emerged victorious in the 35th congressional district – all but guaranteeing he will win the seat in the November elections.
There was more good news for progressives in the 28th and 30th congressional districts, where state Rep. Jasmine Crockett and immigration attorney Jessica Cisneros advanced to the runoff of the 24th primaries. May, bringing them closer to the general election.
Ms. Lee presents herself as a progressive warrior. She has garnered endorsements from several far-left groups, including Democracy for America, Progress Change Campaign Committee, and the Working Families Party, as well as powerful labor unions such as the SEIU PA State Council.
Jerry Dickinson, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh, Steve Irwin, a Democratic activist, and Bhavini Patel, a small business owner, are also participating in the Pennsylvania House competition.
Speaking at an endorsement event this year, Ms Lee said voters have the opportunity to elect new Democratic Party leaders and be part of a movement that “will elevate the power of the people of the working class everywhere in this Commonwealth, everywhere”. this nation.
“We can have bold leadership that centers the poor and working people of all backgrounds, of all genders, of all religions in all neighborhoods,” Ms. Lee said. “We deserve to have people who recognize that we have to have an emergency, and the only people who are going to move with the urgency that we need are those who have been through it.”
“Because when you’ve been through those things, when you’ve been through the front lines of COVID, when you’ve been through the front lines of racial injustice and economic injustice, you just move differently,” he said. she stated.
Ms. Lee and other far-left candidates across the country are running to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 and to strengthen and protect unions. They promise to fight for Medicare for All and the Green New Deal which calls for a shake-up in the energy sector. They pledge to cancel student debt and overhaul the criminal justice system.
Progressive groups also plan to revisit Ms Cisneros’ runoff race on May 24 and hope to deliver a final blow against conservative Democratic Representative Henry Cuellar.
Ms Cisneros thanked campaigners this week and said the job was far from done.
“I’m really, really excited to finish what we started,” she said. “We show people what can happen when you have people-centered politics and people-centered campaigning and how that can go with any kind of political machine, with any kind of machine of business and we are only one step away from finally overthrowing Henry Cuellar.
Mr. Casar said he hoped success in Texas would inspire people across the country to get more involved, saying Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s 2018 win in New York did just that.
“The hope is that with this run and this victory in the first primary here across the country, it can propel us towards so much more change in the year ahead,” he said.