Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

From left to right, the candidates endorsed Wednesday by Bernie Sanders are: Lucy Flores of Nevada, Zephyr Teachout of New York, and Pramila Jayapal of Washington state. (Photo: Common Dreams)

Seeking Allies in Revolution, Sanders Backs Progressive Women for Congress

'No candidate for president—not Bernie Sanders, not the greatest president you could possibly imagine—can take on the billionaire class alone.'

Deirdre Fulton

Bernie Sanders is asking his committed donor base—which has propelled him to fundraising records month after month—to also support three progressive U.S. House candidates in the 2016 election.

The news comes, Politico notes, "just weeks after he faced friendly fire for not committing to fundraise for down-ballot Democrats."

The candidates Sanders is backing are New York's Zephyr Teachout, Nevada's Lucy Flores, and Washington state's Pramila Jayapal, all of whom are competing in primaries against more establishment Democrats. All three have endorsed the senator from Vermont in his presidential run, and all three embrace key planks of Sanders' populist platform.

As Sanders puts it: "Throughout this campaign, I've told you that no candidate for president—not Bernie Sanders, not the greatest president you could possibly imagine—can take on the billionaire class alone."

Of Teachout, Sanders wrote in a fundraising appeal: "Zephyr literally wrote the book on political corruption. She understands better than anybody how special interests try to buy off politicians, and she’s dedicated her life to fixing our broken political system."

The Fordham University professor, who lost her bid for the Democratic Party nomination for governor of New York to Andrew Cuomo, is the author of 2014's Corruption in America: From Benjamin Franklin's Snuff Box to Citizens United.

Jayapal, a state senator and nationally renowned immigration lawyer, "helped lead the fight for paid sick leave and a $15 minimum wage in Seattle," Sanders noted. "She's fought for immigrant rights, opposed the war in Iraq, and worked to protect Social Security."

And Flores, he wrote, is "one of the most courageous people I've met during this campaign."

Named one of nine politicians to watch in 2016 by CNN in December, Flores "was the first Latina assemblywoman in Nevada and made national news when she became one of the first elected officials to testify about an abortion she had at the age of 16," Sanders said. 

The email about Flores, titled "This will probably make you angry," continues:

During her 2014 campaign one D.C. pro-choice group, EMILY's List, endorsed her and added that she was an "inspiring community leader." They even kicked off a program to elect more Latinas to Congress in 2016.

But then Lucy Flores endorsed our political revolution before the Nevada caucus, and everything changed. EMILY's List decided to endorse a different person in Lucy’s House race this time around. So I want to support Lucy like she's supported us, because we stand together.

While Teachout reportedly raised an impressive $530,000 in the first quarter of the year, mostly relying on small donations, "Flores and Jayapal's contests haven’t attracted anywhere near the same amount of attention yet," Jeff Singer wrote Wednesday at Daily Kos

"If Sanders can help generate a fundraising bonanza anything like what Teachout [has] seen, it will be a huge help for them," Singer said. "Flores struggled to raise money in 2015 (her first quarter report is not available yet), and she’ll need plenty of resources if she wants to win the June primary. Flores is facing state Sen. Ruben Kihuen, who has the support of labor and powerful Sen. Harry Reid, and non-profit president Susie Lee, who is well-funded." 

The Hill reports that "Democrats face tough odds to gain a majority in the House—they will need to net 30 seats this cycle. But some see an opening for House Democrats to take back more seats than expected, due to a potential down-ballot effect from a Donald Trump or Ted Cruz GOP presidential nomination."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

ACLU Demands 'Truly Systemic Overhaul' of US Civilian Harm Policies

"While a serious Defense Department focus on civilian harm is long overdue and welcome, it's unclear that this directive will be enough," says director of the legal group's National Security Project.

Jessica Corbett ·


'This Is Not Over': Alaska Supreme Court Rejects Youth Climate Case

"With the state continuing to undermine their health, safety, and futures," said the plaintiffs' lead counsel, "we will evaluate our next steps and will continue to fight for climate justice."

Jessica Corbett ·


Analysis Finds 'Staggering' Rise in Voter Suppression After GOP Restrictions in Georgia

"This is why we are fighting this new law in court," said one voting rights advocate.

Brett Wilkins ·


'Egregious': Pennsylvania Court Strikes Down Mail-In Voting Law

The ruling was stayed pending an appeal to the state's Supreme Court and as one voting advocate put it: "The fight's not over yet, folks."

Julia Conley ·


Big Win for Open Internet as Court Upholds California Net Neutrality Law

One legal advocate called the Ninth Circuit's opinion "a great decision and a major victory for internet users in California and nationwide."

Kenny Stancil ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo