Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stunned the Washington establishment last month when she toppled one of the most powerful Democrats in Congress, Rep. Joe Crowley.
She then took her campaign on the road, endorsing scores of candidates across the country, rallying for those candidates with Sen. Bernie Sanders, and attracting national media hungry to find the next successful insurgent.
But in the first major test since Ocasio-Cortez’s win, several of her candidates fell short in primaries Tuesday night.
- Michigan Gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Sayed lost by 22 points, 52-30, against former state senate leader Gretchen Whitmer who had been endorsed by the likes of Emily’s List and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.
- Kansas congressional candidate Brent Welder, who appeared with Ocasio-Cortez and Sanders in the final stretch of the campaign, lost to Sharice Davis (also an Emily’s List candidate) 37-34.
- Cori Bush, who was challenging incumbent Democratic congressman William Lacy Clay in Missouri, lost big, 57-37.
- Fayrouz Saad, a candidate for Michigan’s 11th congressional district, came in fourth in her primary, losing to Haley Stevens who had been endorsed by Hillary Clinton and had worked on the auto-industry bailout in the Obama administration.
Ocasio Cortez responded to some of the losses on Twitter.
She also suggested that she was undeterred and would continue to endorse upstart candidates willing to buck the Democratic establishment.
While a few voices on the right seemed to take an odd amount of pleasure in Ocasio-Cortez’s endorsees falling short, Tuesday night was not all bad news for the progressive insurgency.
James Thompson, who also had a Sanders-Ocasio-Cortez event in the lead up to the election, won big in his Kansas congressional primary, 65-35. And Rashida Tlaib won her primary to succeed Michigan Rep. John Conyers and is set to become the first Muslim-American woman in Congress.
Ocasio-Cortez responded to some of the taunts from the right on Twitter, writing that “the GOP is “getting 2 new rebellious women in Congress whether they like it or not."
Cover image: New York Democrat candidate for Congress Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez campaigns for Michigan Democratic gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Sayed at a rally on the campus of Wayne State University July 28, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)