Great changes appear on the horizon for the Democratic Party – and for those living in Democrat-controlled districts. The Sunrise Movement, the group that helped Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) promote the Green New Deal, has taken the next logical step in the fight for social and climate justice and announced primary challengers to those who failed to advance the progressive cause.
On the Chopping Block
Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) has represented Illinois’ first House district since 1993, and according to the Sunrise Movement, it’s time he retires. They’re backing a young progressive born the same year Rush took office, Robert Emmons Jr. Mr. Emmons advocates Medicare for all, the Green New Deal, and free school for everyone, from daycare to college. He hopes this progressive message will lead him to succeed in 2020 where Barack Obama failed back in 2000: unseating and replacing Rep. Bobby Rush.
Over in the third district, Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-IL) has held the reins since 2005. He, too, is not sufficiently progressive and faces a primary challenger endorsed by the Sunrise Movement. Marie Newman – another advocate of free stuff and the Green New Deal – is trying for the second time to unseat Mr. Lipinski.
In Ohio’s third district, the Sunrise Movement is backing Morgan Harper, another advocate of free child care, free health care, free college tuition … you get the point. Oh, and the Green New Deal, of course. On March 17, 2020, she’ll face off against incumbent Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH), who has held the post since 2013.
But it isn’t just the not-quite-progressive-enough Democrats who have to watch out. Down in the tenth district of Texas, Mike Siegel is taking another shot at unseating incumbent Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX). Back in 2018, he only came up short 4.3% of the vote.
A New Dawn for the Democrats?
With big-money corporate backing and years of momentum on their side, do these incumbents really have to worry about some far-left, activist-backed upstarts? In a word, yes. These political newcomers may not have the resources of the established politicians, but a new progressive era may well be on the way for the Democratic Party. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) came seemingly out of nowhere and dethroned a 20-year incumbent.
Let us not forget how close Beto O’Rourke came to ousting Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), or that only 1.4% of the votes in Georgia and a miniscule 0.4% in Florida prevented Governors Stacey Abrams and Andrew Gillum, respectively. The party is lurching so far left even Barack Obama wants to pump the breaks.
As unlikely – and scary – as it might sound, the Squad might well represent the majority in the Democratic Party soon.
Read more from James Fite.