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AOC Breaks with Party Again, Endorses Another Primary Challenger Over Powerful Dem

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez broke from the Democratic Party establishment and endorsed fellow New York Rep. Eliot Engel’s primary challenger following Engel’s gaffe at a recent event.

Instead of supporting the incumbent Democrat, Ocasio-Cortez endorsed Jamaal Bowman, a former middle school teacher from the Bronx.

“This moment requires renewed and revitalized leadership across the country AND at the ballot box,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.

“Jamaal has dedicated the last decade of his life serving his community as a school principal and community servant,” she added.

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Engel, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is completing his 16th term in Congress.

Despite raising about $1.6 million for his re-election campaign, according to National Review, he has faced criticism for not spending enough time in his district during the current health crisis.

At a Tuesday rally in the Bronx protesting the death of George Floyd, who died May 25 in Minneapolis after a police officer knelt on his neck for roughly nine minutes during an arrest, Engel asked Bronx borough president Ruben Diaz Jr. if he could address the crowd.

Do you think AOC's endorsement will help Engel's challenger?

When Diaz informed him that there were too many people already scheduled to speak, Engel was caught on a hot mic saying that he “wouldn’t care” to speak if it hadn’t been an election year.

“If I didn’t have a primary, I wouldn’t care,” Engel said.

He later addressed the blowback he received following his comments.

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“In the context of running for re-election, I thought it was important for people to know where I stand, that’s why I asked to speak,” he told NY1 reporter Emily Ngo.

“Of course I care deeply about what’s happening in this country, that’s what I wanted to convey. I love the Bronx, grew up in the Bronx and lived here all my life,” he said. “I would not have tried to impose on the Borough president if I didn’t think it was important.”

Ocasio-Cortez launched the Courage to Change PAC earlier this year to help progressive candidates in elections, which was seen as a threat by establishment Democrats, Fox News reported.

“Contributions will be used to make early investments in progressive challengers that can even the playing field against established incumbents, and bolster progressive leaders in Congress who take difficult but righteous stands,” the political action committee’s website reads.

“All endorsees will embody the ideals of racial, social, economic, and environmental justice.”

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Birthplace
Tucson, Arizona
Nationality
American
Honors/Awards
Graduated with Honors
Education
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Location
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith




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