The group that helped propel Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to her upset victory over Rep. Joe Crowley is announcing Tuesday that it will be endorsing an additional five progressive Democratic challengers.
The first of these is Cynthia Nixon, who is challenging incumbent New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo in his primary election in September. Nixon has made the convictions of Cuomo’s close associates in corruption trials a feature of her campaign, and she wants to establish a single-payer health care system in the state.
In addition to Nixon, four other Democrats earned the group’s endorsement.
In Minnesota, Ilhan Omar — a Democratic state representative vying to replace Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison in the state’s 5th Congressional District — earned Justice Democrats’ backing. Omar is known as the first Somali-American to serve in a state legislature in the United States, and if elected, would be the first Muslim woman to hold a seat in Congress. Omar promises to push for a federal jobs guarantee, a $15 minimum wage, and “Medicare for All” if elected.
Justice Democrats is a small-donor funded operation that works to elect Democrats on the progressive end of the spectrum.
Vermont’s Christine Hallquist, the former CEO of Vermont Electric Cooperative, got Justice Democrats’ support in that state in her bid for governor. Her platform includes a $15 minimum wage and paid family and medical leave insurance.
Rhode Island state Rep. Aaron Regunberg got Justice Democrats’ backing in his bid for lieutenant governor of his state. Regunberg was one of the masterminds behind the successful push for paid sick leave in the state. In addition to wanting to create a single-payer health care system in Rhode Island, he wants tough ethics reforms, including banning lobbyist contributions while the legislature is in session.
Justice Democrats has already backed Matt Brown, the former Rhode Island secretary of state, in the race for governor against incumbent Gina Raimondo. A former state treasurer and a finance executive who oversaw a crippling of the state’s pension fund, Raimondo was mocked in the state for comparing herself to Ocasio-Cortez.
The last Justice Democrats endorsee, Jamie Schoolcraft, is running for Congress in Missouri’s 7th District. Schoolcraft is a former EMT and served for two terms as mayor of Willard, Missouri. Should he win his August primary, he will likely face incumbent Republican Rep. Billy Long, who also must get through a primary election.
Justice Democrats has recently thrown its weight behind the insurgent candidacies of Kaniela Ing in Hawaii, who is running for a seat in Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District, and Kerri Harris, who is running in a Democratic primary against Delaware Sen. Tom Carper.
Alexandra Rojas, a co-executive director at Justice Democrats, told The Intercept that this batch of endorsements would be among the last, as the group turns its energy toward winning the remaining primaries and, ultimately, the November general elections.
Correction: July 17, 2018, 10:50 a.m.
An earlier version of this story misspelled the last name of Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo. It has been updated.