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Alessandra Biaggi speaks to voters

New York state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi speaks to voters on April 23, 2022. (Photo: Alessandra Biaggi for Congress/Flickr/cc)

Ocasio-Cortez Endorses Biaggi Over DCCC Chair Maloney in NY Primary

The progressive state senator "knows what it takes to go up against powerful opponents and win," said AOC.

Julia Conley

Offering her endorsement to New York state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi on Tuesday in the state's 17th district, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called on her supporters to "continue building progressive power" in Washington by helping Biaggi defeat Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, current chair of the Democrat's congressional fundraising arm.

In a fundraising email, Ocasio-Cortez noted that Biaggi, who has served in state Senate since 2018, "knows what it takes to go up against powerful opponents and win," having unseated former state Sen. Jeffrey Klein of the Republican-aligned Independent Democratic Conference.

"New Yorkers deserve fierce champions in Washington, and that's why I'm so proud to receive the endorsement of one of the bravest fighters I know."

Biaggi announced in late May that she would challenge Maloney, who earlier said he would run to represent the 17th district instead of the 18th, which he has represented since 2013.

The boundaries of Maloney's district changed when a court ordered the state's congressional map to be redrawn, with the new 17th district giving him a potential advantage with voters.

The decision of the well-funded Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) chair to run in the 17th district pushed progressive incumbent Rep. Mondaire Jones out of the race and prompted Biaggi to take on Maloney, calling him a "selfish corporate Democrat" who had abdicated his responsibility to ensure the party keeps its House majority.

In her email announcing her endorsement, Ocasio-Cortez said the race would be "competitive and expensive" but that Biaggi is "ready to take her leadership to Congress where I know she'll continue fighting for working people" and suggested the state senator is well-prepared to take on Maloney.

"As a state senator, Alessandra arrived in Albany to a government plagued by gridlock—one caused by conservatives in our own party, rampant corruption, and cronyism at the highest levels," said the congresswoman. "Through hard work, Alessandra and our progressive allies across New York were able to break through and deliver a series of wins—including codifying Roe statewide and expanding voting rights."

Maloney dismissed Ocasio-Cortez's statement, claiming the popular congresswoman's vote of confidence would make little difference in the race, while former Obama administration advisor Jim Messina claimed the endorsement was "counter-productive" and denounced Biaggi for running against a "committed progressive."

Biaggi thanked Ocasio-Cortez for her endorsement, saying she is "running for Congress to challenge inaction and political cowardice."

"New Yorkers deserve fierce champions in Washington, and that's why I'm so proud to receive the endorsement of one of the bravest fighters I know," she added.


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