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Rana Abdelhamid

2022 congressional candidate Rana Abdelhamid (R), then a 17-year-old youth activist with Amnesty International at a rally held by the group on February 12, 2011 in New York in support of the protesters in Egypt one day after a popular revolt drove veteran strongman Hosni Mubarak from power. (Photo: STAN HONDA/AFP via Getty Images)

Why Don’t More Progressive Candidates Speak Out Against the War Machine?

A survey of progressive House aspirants finds that a majority make no mention of U.S. military or foreign policies

Henry Norr

 by Progressive Hub

I haven’t had much truck with the Democratic Party since 1965 or ’66, when I was expelled from my college chapter of the Young Democrats because I said out loud that I was rooting for the Viet Cong to win the war the US government was waging against them. The only Democratic presidential candidate I’ve ever voted for was George McGovern, the antiwar senator who got the nomination in 1972. (Admittedly, I might have made some different choices if I’d ever lived in a state that wasn’t “safe” for the Democrat.) And I never donated money to Democratic candidates.

Until, that is, 2018 and then again in 2020, when I decided the insurgent candidates now known as “The Squad” were worth supporting. Now – as punishment for my sins, I suppose – I get calls, texts, and emails almost every day from candidates all over the country, running for a variety of offices but mostly the House, who describe themselves as progressives. I dutifully check out their campaign websites, and some turn out to sound like just mainstream Democrats, in whom I don’t have much interest (even if I’d rather see them in office than a Republican). But I’ve been heartened to discover dozens of aspirants to the House who mostly live up to their progressive branding: they speak out strongly in favor of a Green New Deal, Medicare for All, voting rights, immigration reform, racial justice, reproductive rights, criminal justice reform, affordable housing, and so on. Many are a stronger on slogans than on specifics, but by the standards of American politics in the 2020s, they sound remarkably right-on.

Except for one glaring problem: many of the candidates’ platforms I looked at made no mention of a complex of issues that used to be – and to me still should be – central to what it means to be a progressive: U.S. foreign and military policy. And even among those who in some way addressed such issues, some offered only pieties about eliminating waste and preferring diplomacy to war. Distressingly few and far between were references to specific issues like the obscene $768 billion Congress just gave the military for 2022, the continuing drone wars around the world, the 800+ offshore U.S. military bases, the ongoing unraveling of the never-complete international arms-control regime and the wasteful and dangerous (Obama-initiated) effort to “modernize” our enormous nuclear stockpile, the evident lust on the part of so much of the DC establishment for a new cold war or two (if not hot ones!) with Russia and China, or the backing our government gives to repressive regimes worldwide as long as they are “on our side,” including billions in foreign military assistance and arms sales to documented violators of human rights, starting with Israel, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia.

Concerned that the sites I was looking at were somehow unrepresentative on this score, I decided to undertake a systematic survey of all the non-incumbent progressive House candidates I could identify. That’s not to say the records of incumbents who call themselves progressives don’t also deserve scrutiny, but they are better known, and I was particularly curious about the possibility of an expanded Congressional left, so I concentrated on non-incumbents – some challenging incumbent corporate Democrats, others seeking the Democratic nomination to run for open seats or against incumbent Republicans.

Besides the candidates who had contacted me, and a few more I came across on my own, I got most of my survey subjects by looking at the endorsements of three progressive advocacy groups: the Justice Democrats, the Working Families Party, and Brand New Congress. A few more came from the endorsements of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Our Revolution.

In all, I ended up with a sample of 39 House candidates. They are definitely an appealing lot: nearly all are women and/or people of color; most are young and photogenic; they all have impressive records as activists, non-profit officials, or in some cases state or local officeholders; and their platforms check all the boxes that dominate today’s progressive discourse. Unfortunately, though, my expanded research confirmed my initial impression: more than 3/5 of these progressive candidates – 24 out of the 39 – make no mention whatsoever on their campaign sites of issues of war and peace.

And it seems that none of the many advocacy groups that endorse progressive candidates condition their support on candidates taking a position on these issues. Consider, for example, Justice Democrats. I’ve supported them in the past, they played a major role in promoting the campaigns of the current “Squad,” and their own organizational platform includes a pretty good call for a “Progressive Foreign Policy”. Yet of the six new House candidates they’re supporting this year, only one – Rana Abdelhamid, a child of working-class Egyptian immigrants who is taking on establishment incumbent Carolyn Maloney in NY-12 (parts of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens) – addresses military and foreign-policy matters, and even she devotes only a couple of sentences to them.

The next stop in my research was the Working Families Party (WFP), and the results there were even more depressing from anti-militarist perspective: Of the 10 House candidates they’ve endorsed, again only one – Nida Allam, the daughter of Indian and Pakistani immigrants who is running in NC-06 (Durham, Chapel Hill, and surrounding rural areas) – addresses issues of foreign and military policy. Allam’s position, like Abdelhamid’s, is not as detailed as I’d like, but at least it includes pledges to support reducing the military budget, to seek repeal of the 2001 and 2002 Authorizations for Use of Military Force (AUMF), and to seek an end to aid and weapons sales to regimes committing human rights abuses.

Brand New Congress, a group I’d previously been only dimly aware of, turned out to have the most candidates with the clarity and courage to speak out against U.S. foreign and military policy among its list of endorsees: of the 16 hopefuls it’s endorsing for the House, fully half have some kind of statement about military spending and imperial bullying on their websites.

Of these eight, Stephanie Gallardo, who is challenging incumbent Democrat Adam Smith in WA-09, a district that runs from Seattle to Tacoma, has the most forceful statement: she calls for “an end to imperialist wars and exorbitant spending on militarization,” including specifically “nuclear arms reduction and disarmament” and “a drastically reduced Pentagon budget.” The daughter of refugees from Pinochet’s coup in Chile, she defines herself as a “Democratic Socialist” right under her name on her home page. (Her site is also notable for the strongest candidate statement on Palestine and Israel that I’ve ever seen from an American politician. It begins “The United States must end all aid to the state of Israel and take a clear stand in support of Palestinian liberation” and goes on to endorse the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement.)

Others on the BNC list also take strong positions on military issues:

* Angelica Dueñas makes a brief but bold call for “reducing our military budget by 50%” and promises to push for negotiations to eliminate nuclear weapons, ban weapons in space, and regulate the use of autonomous robots and drones. Dueñas is mounting a second challenge to longtime incumbent Democrat Tony Cárdenas in CA-29 (part of southern California’s San Fernando Valley) after winning 43.4 percent of the vote in 2020.

* Imani Oakley, who is challenging incumbent Democrat Donald Payne Jr. in NJ-10, including Newark, declares “we live in a state of perpetual war and international conflict fueled by racism, hawkish politicians, and greedy multinational corporations.” She goes on to promise that in Congress she will seek to “dramatically reduce military and weapons spending, … advocate for the end of the “forever wars” in the Middle East, …defend the humanity, dignity, and safety of the Palestinian people,… [and] fight to end all forms of state violence on the international stage by eliminating taxpayer-funded support for foreign countries – including the Israeli, Chinese, and Myanma[r] governments — that commit genocide and other violent human rights violations.”

* Brittany Ramos DeBarros bases her outspoken opposition to militarism on her experience in Afghanistan, where she saw combat while serving as a captain in the U.S. Army. On her campaign site she writes “We need to completely reclaim and reframe the conversation on national security. The war profiteers have made billions while the establishment politicians in their pockets abdicate their duty to our troops, sending them to kill and die in counterproductive, unjust wars with no clear objective or end point in sight.”

Now a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, Ramos DeBarros is running against a conservative, pro-cop Democratic for the chance to take on the incumbent Trump-loving Republican in NY-11. The district – known for, among other things, Staten Island’s large population of police and prison guards – went overwhelmingly for Trump in 2016 and even more so in 2020, but redistricting seems to have improved Democratic prospects.

(Probably because Ramos DeBarros lives in New York City, and because she putting forward such progressive politics in such a conservative district, and perhaps because she seems to have an exuberant personality, she has attracted more media attention than the other candidates discussed here. The Nation profiled her and the right-wing New York Post recently ran an exposé, with a video she posted to her Instagram page in 2019 with the hashtag #dropbootiesnotbombs, showing her stripping off her uniform and gyrating in her red lingerie to Edwin Starr’s hit song “War” (“What is it good for? Absolutely nothing!”) at an anti-war burlesque show at a Brooklyn bar.

* Melanie D’Arrigo, who is running for a vacant seat in NY-03, on the north shore of Long Island not only declares that “It’s time to stop never ending wars, protect our military families and stop increasing our already overly bloated military budget,” but also has a website section dedicated specifically to “Denuclearization,” including a call for “non-proliferation agreements to reduce nuclear stockpiles” and “restricting first use of nuclear weapons.”

* Shervin Aazami (CA-32, another part of the San Fernando Valley) presents detailed critique of the hawkish record and close ties to weapons manufacturers of the incumbent Democrat he’s challenging, Rep. Brad Sherman, and explicitly denounces “imperialism and militarism” and “multinational defense corporations seeking to maximize profit.” Under the heading “Defund our military-industrial complex and endless wars,” explains that “Due to the profligate greed of the defense industry aided and abetted by hawkish bipartisan neoconservatism, the United States continues to fund endless, morally vacuous, brutal, and destructive foreign wars.”

* Rebecca Parson, challenging incumbent Democratic Rep. Derek Kilmer in WA-06, on the Olympic Peninsula, says “We need to stop invading other countries for resource extraction, the enrichment of the military-industrial complex, and market expansion for American corporations.” Among the specifics she proposes: ending U.S. support for the war in Yemen, ending the Presidential Authorizations for Use of Military Force (AUMFs) going back to the Cold War. And “closing Guantanamo Bay and abolishing torture.”

* Erica Smith, who hopes to unseat incumbent Democratic Rep. Deborah Ross in NC-02, (central North Carolina) is considerably less outspoken on foreign and military policy, but her website does say “We need to end the endless wars and reign in the authority that allows every President, regardless of party, to engage in acts of war without congressional approval.”

So those eight BNC endorsees have pretty strong positions on the issues I’m concerned with here, as well progressive domestic causes. Unfortunately, the other eight on the group’s list avoid foreign policy and military issues altogether. Among them, perhaps surprisingly, are two prominent candidates with well-known ties to Sen. Bernie Sanders, Amy Vilela (NV-01, Las Vegas) and Nina Turner (OH-11, the Cleveland area): Turner, who is notably outspoken on most issues, was once president of the Sanders-affiliated group Our Revolution and then a national co-chair of his 2020 presidential campaign, while Vilela co-chaired his 2020 presidential campaign in Nevada and recently won the endorsement of Rep. Cori Bush. (I don’t know whether or not this is part of the explanation, but Vilela’s About page does note that her husband is a Major in the U.S. Air Force.)

As for the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (BoldProgressives.org), their list includes six non-incumbents seeking House seats, of whom three address militarism and related issues: two mentioned above – Erica Smith (NC-02) and Brittany Ramos DeBarros (NY-11), plus Attica Scott (KY-03), whose “Issues” page includes: “It is painfully clear that the United States cannot continue to engage in ongoing violent conflict and war. We are asking mostly young people to go to war in order to line the pockets of defense contractors.”

Our Revolution, to my surprise, has so far endorsed only three hopefuls for the House, all in Texas and all silent on military or foreign-policy matters.

Finally, four candidates who evidently haven’t been endorsed by any of the advocacy groups – perhaps because they’re distinct longshots – made my list of progressive candidates with platforms that address international and military as well as domestic issues:

* Shahid Buttar, who two years ago took 22.4 percent of the vote against Nancy Pelosi in CA-12 (San Francisco), is taking a second run at the soon-to-be-82-year-old House Speaker this year (shahidforchange.us). An immigrant of Pakistani descent from the United Kingdom, Buttar is a longtime activist in various left causes, including grassroots opposition to the war in Iraq. Given that background, it’s not surprising that he’s running on a strongly progressive platform or that it includes a section labeled “Foreign Policy and Military,” but I was disappointed that that section wasn’t stronger: while one of the several “Specific actions” it calls for is “Ending U.S. military support for foreign regimes that abuse human rights, from Saudi Arabia and Israel to the Philippines,” it makes no mention of cutting the Pentagon budget, closing bases, or nuclear disarmament.

* Muad Hrezi, the son of Libyan asylum-seekers, is challenging John B. Larson, chair of the House Democratic Caucus, in CT-01, which includes Hartford and surroundings. Under the heading “A Just Foreign Policy,” he observes that “The forever wars we’ve engaged in over the last two decades—in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, and elsewhere—have destabilized entire regions and come at a tremendous human, economic, social, and political cost.” He calls for cutting the Pentagon budget by $1.2 trillion over ten years and for “conditioning aid to countries based on their respect for human rights, whether it’s Saudi Arabia, Israel, or Nicaragua.” That budget cut comes out to only a relatively modest 15 percent or so, and Hrezi doesn’t explain why we should be giving any aid to the Saudis and the Israelis, but both proposals would be improvements over current policies.

* Alexandra Hunt is challenging incumbent Democrat Dwight Evans in PA-03 which encompasses much of Philadelphia. When she first contacted me to solicit a contribution and I checked her “Issues” page, I was impressed with her position on domestic issues but found the usual problem, so I emailed her to say I might donate a little “but not nearly as much as I would if you came out four-square for slashing the military budget, ending the forever wars, and in general giving up on our imperial madness.” She promptly wrote back “You are one step ahead of me, but not far! I am rolling out my foreign policy platform in the very near future. It breaks down how I would cut the Pentagon budget, end endless wars, and stop American imperialism. I discuss Central America, the Middle East, China, nuclear weapons, and diplomacy on my platform.”

Less than a week later, the new section appeared on her site, and I was bowled over: it’s a long (1,220 words!), well-informed, and thorough-going critique of U.S. foreign and security policies. The section on the Pentagon budget details a list of cuts she pledges to fight for (including closing 60 percent of foreign bases), which she says will reduce the budget by 48 percent – still not enough, but like Ms. Dueñas’ 50-percent proposal, a good start.

(Hunt’s revised platform also added a good statement on the Middle East: “Since its founding, Israel has waged a colonial war on the Palestinian people with the aim of replacing them with Jewish settlers. … The United States funding of military aid to Israel enables these crimes that deny Palestinians their basic freedom and human rights. Alexandra will fight to end U.S. militarized aid to Israel and advocate for Palestinian human rights.”)

Unfortunately, I doubt Hunt has much of a chance: she’s a white woman challenging a Black man in a majority Black district, and a political novice up against an incumbent who was first elected to office in 1980. On top of all that, much of the media coverage of her campaign that I’ve seen focuses not on her stands on issues, but on the fact that she worked as a stripper during her college years.

* Mckayla Wilkes (MD-05) is challenging incumbent Rep. Steny Hoyer, the 82-year-old House Majority Leader (second in command after Nancy Pelosi) and, like Pelosi, a champion of corporate-friendly “moderation.” Her lively “Issues” page checks the usual progressive boxes but puts an unusually radical spin on them. Her Green New Deal page, to cite just one example, includes “Guaranteeing a just transition to workers in extractive sectors (such as oil, gas, shale, and industrial agriculture) by nationalizing dominant actors” and building a “a 100 percent renewable energy sector that is democratically controlled.” Elsewhere she calls for “democratizing the stock market” by establishing a “social wealth fund” – a federally-run investment fund that would pay out a set percentage of its value every year in the form of an equal dividend to every American adult.

As to military and foreign policy, Wilkes’ platform is nowhere near as comprehensive and detailed as Hunt’s, but it’s not bad. Under the rubric, “End the Forever Wars,” she writes:

“The United States’ aggressive military adventurism has been a complete failure. The federal government has poured trillions of dollars into wars which only serve to starve domestic social programs and cause human misery abroad. Instead of an arrogant and shortsighted foreign policy, we need an anti-imperialist foreign policy based on peace and cooperation. That’s why Mckayla supports ending U.S. support for the illegal Saudi military campaign in Yemen; pulling American troops out of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria; passing a new Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) that severely curtails the president’s ability to start military engagements without congressional approval; and redirecting at least $200 billion in defense funding toward foreign aid and domestic social programs.”

Senate Candidates

“Several of the progressive advocacy groups also endorse some Senatorial candidates. Among the non-incumbents, to judge by their online platforms, there’s only one – Morgan Harper (OH) – I’d classify as mostly a real progressive, but she makes no mention of military or international issues (morganharper.org). Neither does Lucas Kunce (MO), whose platform focuses on breaking up monopolies and abolishing corporate PACs, or Malcolm Kenyatta (PA), whose platform is more extensive but consists mostly of centrist Democratic talking points. (One example: he calls for “a moratorium on new fracking,” not an outright ban on this destructive technology.) As for Mandela Barnes (WI) and Charles Booker (KY), neither’s website includes an “Issues” page at all. No doubt all of these candidates would make better Senators than their Republican adversaries, but none seems likely to stand up to the war machine.

Conclusions

  1. It’s great to see so many compelling candidates running for Congress on such progressive platforms, including stances such as support for a Green New Deal and Medicare for All that were considered fringe positions just a few years ago. I am not in a position to judge the chances of these candidates winning their primaries, much less the November elections, but if even a third or a quarter of them make it, that would be a big boost to the left wing of the Democratic Party.
  2. Some of these progressives do address military spending and related issues, if not generally with as much clarity and detail as I’d wish. On the other hand, it’s dismaying to find that a clear majority of these otherwise progressive candidates – again, 24 of the 39 in my survey – say literally NOTHING in their online platforms about issues of war and peace and, in particular, the enormous sums the U.S. government spends every year on weaponry, offshore bases, and the rest of the military machine.
  3. Evidently not a single one of the progressive groups whose candidate lists I surveyed makes it a condition for their endorsements that the candidates speak out on these issues. I don’t know how these groups arrive at their endorsements – the lists don’t appear to reflect clear political differences – but all of them include many candidates who stand silent on international and military matters.
  4. Several of the candidates or campaign staffers I complained to, on the phone or via email, about these omissions explained that they developed their platforms to focus on issues that are top of mind among their constituents, and that the military budget and the rest of the issues I wanted them to raise simply don’t pass that test. Maybe that’s all true, but if it is, it is in part due to the failures of the progressive movement: after all, not only is militarism a threat to everyone’s security, but paying for it – to the tune of approximately 53 cents of every dollar Congress spends, also severely limits the resources available for the domestic programs all these candidates champion. Shouldn’t it be part of every progressive politician’s job to make these connections?

I’m sure all these progressive candidates honor the memory of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. They are too young to have heard his celebrated “Beyond Vietnam” speech at the Riverside Church in New York City in 1967, but is it too much to expect of them – all of them – to take to heart, and to their constituents, his observation that “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death”?

Candidate Statements

Below is a list of all 39 candidates in my survey – all non-incumbents running for the House on progressive (to varying degrees) platforms. I’ve divided them into two groups, the 15 whose platforms include at least some opposition to military spending and aggressive foreign policies and the 24 on whose websites I found no mention of these issues.


Candidates whose platforms in some way address military spending, foreign policy, etc.:

Shervin Aazami (CA-32)
Challenging incumbent Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman
Website: shervin4congress.com
Endorsed by: Brand New Congress
Primary date: June 7

Rana Abdelhamid (NY-12)
Challenging incumbent Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney
Website: ranaforcongress.com
Major organizational endorsements: Justice Democrats
Primary date: June 28

Nida Allam (NC-06)
Challenging incumbent Democratic Rep. Kathy Manning
Website: nidaallam.com
Major organizational endorsements: Working Families Party
Primary date: May 17

Shahid Buttar (CA-12)
Challenging incumbent Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi
Website: shahidforchange.us
Major organizational endorsements: NA
Primary date: June 7

Melanie D’Arrigo (NY-03)
Seeking Democratic nomination for a vacant seat
Website: darrigo2022.com
Major organizational endorsements: Brand New Congress, Indivisible
Primary date: June 28

Angelica Dueñas (CA-29)
Challenging incumbent Democratic Rep. Tony Cárdenas
Website: angelica4congress.com
Major organizational endorsements: Brand New Congress
Primary date: June 7

Stephanie Gallardo (WA-09)
Challenging incumbent Democratic Rep. Adam Smith
Website: electgallardo.com
Major organizational endorsements: Brand New Congress, RootsAction
Primary date: August 2

Muad Hrezi (CT-01, around Hartford)
Challenging incumbent John B. Larson, chair of the House Democratic Caucus
Website: hrezi.com
Major organizational endorsements: NA
Primary date: August 9

Alexandra Hunt (PA-03)
Challenging incumbent Democratic Rep. Dwight Evans
Website: alexandramhunt.com
Major organizational endorsements: NA
Primary date: May 17

Imani Oakley (NJ-10)
Challenging incumbent Democratic Rep. Donald Payne Jr.
Website: oakleyforcongress.com
Major organizational endorsements: Brand New Congress
Primary date: June 7

Rebecca Parson (WA-06)
Challenging incumbent Democratic Rep. Derek Kilmer
Website: rebeccaparson.com
Major organizational endorsements: Brand New Congress
Primary date: August 2

Brittany Ramos DeBarros (NY-11)
Seeking Democratic nomination to oppose incumbent Republican Rep. Nicole Malliotakis
Website: brittanyforthepeople.org
Major organizational endorsements: Brand New Congress, Progressive Change Campaign Committee
Primary date: June 28

Attica Scott (KY-03)
Seeking Democratic nomination for a vacant seat
Website: atticaforcongress.com
Major organizational endorsements: Progressive Change Campaign Committee
Primary date: May 17

Erica Smith (NC-02)
Challenging incumbent Democrat Rep. Deborah Ross
Website: ericaforus.com
Major organizational endorsements: Brand New Congress, Progressive Change Campaign Committee
Primary date: May 17

Mckayla Wilkes (MD-05)
Challenging incumbent Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer
Website: mckaylawilkes.com
Major organizational endorsements: RootsAction
Primary date: June 28


Candidates whose platforms are silent on military spending, foreign policy, etc.:

Amane Badhasso (MN-04 – in and around St. Paul)
Challenging incumbent Democratic Rep. Betty McCollum
Website: amaneforcongress.com
Major organizational endorsements: NA
Primary date: August 9

Greg Casar (TX-35 – Austin)
Challenging incumbent Democratic Rep. Lloyd Doggett
Website: casarforcongress.com
Major organizational endorsements: Justice Democrats, Working Families Party, Our Revolution
Primary date: March 1

Jessica Cisneros (TX-28)
Challenging incumbent Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar
Website: jessicacisnerosforcongress.com
Major organizational endorsements: Justice Democrats, Working Families Party, brand New Congress, Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Our Revolution, Indivisible
Primary date: March 1

Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (FL-20, in southeast Florida)
Technically an incumbent seeking reelection, after winning a special election to succeed the late Alcee Hastings on January 11, 2022. But she got only 23.76 percent of the vote, edging out the runner-up in a crowded field by just five votes, or 0.01 percent, and at least seven other candidates have already entered the race against her for the August primary.
Website: sheilafordistrict20.com
Major organizational endorsements: Brand New Congress
Primary date: August 23

Kina Collins (IL-07)
Challenging incumbent Democratic Rep. Danny K. Davis
Website: kinacollins.com
Major organizational endorsements: Justice Democrats, Indivisible
Primary date: June 28

Jasmine Crockett (TX-30, Dallas and southern suburbs)
Seeking nomination to replace retiring Democratic Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, competing with BNC endorsee Jessica Mason and others
Website: jasmineforus.com
Major organizational endorsements: Our Revolution
Primary date: March 1

Jerry Dickinson (PA-18 – Pittsburgh and surroundings)
Seeking nomination to replace retiring Democratic Rep. Michael Doyle (competing with Summer Lee and others)
Website: jerrydickinson.com
Major organizational endorsements: Brand New Congress
Primary date: May 17

Maxwell Alejandro Frost (FL-10)
Seeking Democratic nomination for seat vacated by Democratic Rep. Val Demings
Website: frostforcongress.com
Major organizational endorsements: NA
Primary date: August 23

Odessa Kelly (TN-05)
Seeking to replace retiring Blue Dog Democratic Rep. Jim Cooper
Website: odessaforcongresss.com
Major organizational endorsements: Justice Democrats, Brand New Congress, Indivisible
Primary date: August 4

Daniel Lee (CA-37, in Los Angeles County)
Seeking to replace Democratic Rep. Karen Bass, who is running for Mayor of LA
Website: danielwaynelee.com
Major organizational endorsements: NA
Primary date: June 7

Summer Lee (PA-18 – Pittsburgh and surroundings)
Seeking to replace retiring Democratic Rep. Michael Doyle, competing with BNC-endorsed Jerry Dickinson
Website: summerforpa.com
Major organizational endorsements: Justice Democrats, Working Families Party
Primary date: May 17

Derek Marshall (CA-08, north and east of Los Angeles)
Seeking nomination to challenge incumbent Republican Rep. Jay Obernolte
Website: derekmarshallca.com
Major organizational endorsements: NA
Primary date: June 7

Jessica Mason (TX-30 – Dallas and southern suburbs)
Seeking nomination to replace retiring Democratic Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, competing with Our Revolution endorsee Jasmine Crockett and others
Website: jessicamasonforcongress.com
Major organizational endorsements: Brand New Congress
Primary date: March 1

Jamie McLeod-Skinner (OR-05 – Oregon’s central coast, Salem, and southern suburbs of Portland)
Challenging incumbent Democratic Rep. Kurt Schrader
Website: jamiefororegon.com
Major organizational endorsements: Working Families Party
Primary date: May 17

Bryan Osorio (CA-21, in California’s Central Valley)
Seeking Democratic nomination to challenge incumbent Republican Rep. David Valadao
Website: osorioforcongress.com
Major organizational endorsements: Our Revolution:Kern County
Primary date: June 7

Delia Ramirez (IL-03, south and west of Chicago)
Seeking Democratic nomination in a new district (Rep. Marie Newman, who represented the old IL-03, is running in IL-06 in 2022)
Website: deliaforcongress.com
Major organizational endorsements: Working Families Party
Primary date: June 28

Sol Sandoval (CO-03, western Colorado)
Seeking Democratic nomination to challenge incumbent Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert
Website: sandovalforcolorado.com
Major organizational endorsements: Working Families Party
Primary date: June 28

Ashmi Sheth (NY-10, encompassing the west side of Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn)
Challenging incumbent Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler
Website: ashmiforcongress.com
Major organizational endorsements: NA
Primary date: June 28

Nina Turner (OH-11, the Cleveland area)
Running against incumbent Democratic Rep. Shontel Brown, who upset her in a special election in November, 2021
Website: ninaturner.com
Major organizational endorsements: Brand New Congress
Primary date: May 3

Amy Vilela (NV-01 – Las Vegas)
Challenging incumbent Democratic Rep. Dina Titus
Website: amyvilela.org
Major organizational endorsements: Brand New Congress
Primary date: June 14

Neal Walia (CO-01 – Denver)
Challenging incumbent Democratic Rep. Diana DeGette
Website: nealwaliaforcongress.com
Major organizational endorsements: Working Families Party
Primary date: June 28

Marsha Williams (IL-17 – northwest Illinois)
Challenging incumbent Democratic Rep. Cheri Bustos
Website: marshawilliamsforcongress.com
Major organizational endorsements: Brand New Congress
Primary date: June 28

Tom Winter (MT-01 – western Montana)
Seeking Democratic nomination for a new seat
Website: winterformontana.com
Major organizational endorsements: Progressive Change Campaign Committee
Primary date: June 7

Claudia Zapata (TX-21 – parts of Austin and San Antonio and areas to the west)
Seeking the Democratic nomination to oppose Republican incumbent Rep. Chip Roy
Website: conclaudia.com
Major organizational endorsements: NA
Primary date: May 24


Henry Norr

Henry Norr

Henry Norr, a passenger on the US Boat to Gaza called The Audacity of Hope, is a former technology writer at the San Francisco Chronicle. Norr was fired in April 2003. He had been arrested in an anti-war demonstration on March 20, the day after the United States attacked Iraq. The Chronicle suspended him without pay a few days later, then fired him.

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