Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez leant the campaign of progressive primary challenger Jessica Cisneros some star power on Tuesday when the New York Democrat endorsed the Texas lawyer in her quest to unseat Rep. Henry Cuellar.
Cuellar, a conservative Democrat, is one of the top targets for the progressive group Justice Democrats in the 2020 primary cycle.
"The people of South Texas deserve a Democrat like Jessica who is going to fight for real people, not big corporate donors like the Koch Brothers, GEO Group, and Exxon," said Ocasio-Cortez. "When Jessica is elected, not only will I no longer be the youngest person in Congress—I'll have a strong new ally in the fight for Medicare for All, getting corporate money out of politics, and fixing our broken immigration system."
Last year, NY-14 elected me as the youngest woman to serve in Congress.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) October 22, 2019
Let’s help Jessica Cisneros shatter that record in 2020.@JCisnerosTX is a powerful, progressive fighter. Her win will get us closer to a more just America.
I’m proud to support her:https://t.co/lOmKzTCuYF
The endorsement came just days after Ocasio-Cortez endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in his run for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
In a tweet, Cisneros welcomed the opportunity to break Ocasio-Cortez's record.
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Cuellar's team in June dismissed Cisneros as a pawn of Justice Democrats who was using their talking points to hit the congressman. Cuellar spokesperson Colin Strother declined to provide examples of the talking points to Common Dreams other than Cisneros citing Cuellar's record.
An anti-choice, pro-corporation legislator, Cuellar votes with President Donald Trump 52.8% of the time. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) enthusiastically endorsed Cuellar in September.
Despite the uphill battle, Cisneros' campaign shows signs of life. The lawyer has raised over $460,000 thus far, her campaign announced on October 4.
"I'm not accepting a dime from corporate PACs or lobbyists," Cisneros said at the time. "In Congress, I'll advocate for the values and concerns of real people down here in South Texas, not corporate special interests."
In her endorsement, Ocasio-Cortez warned supporters that the road to elect Cisneros would be long—but in the end, Cisneros in Congress would be a boon to the progressive cause.
"I can tell you from experience: the pathway to power for people like Jessica is blocked every step of the way," said Ocasio-Cortez. "But when we elevate leaders like Jessica, who are deeply connected to the problems and struggles facing her community, we have the power to make change for the better."