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Ocasio-Cortez joins campaign to recruit candidates, launch primaries against incumbent Democrats

New York Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (left) has called on liberal Democrats to run for office against moderate Democrats. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

New York Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has joined a national campaign dubbed #OurTime that has called for progressive Democrats to launch primaries against the party's more moderate incumbents in 2020, Politico reported.

"Long story short, I need you to run for office," Ocasio-Cortez said during a video conference call Saturday hosted by Justice Democrats, a group that backed the 29-year-old during her primary campaign against powerful Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley.

What is Ocasio-Cortez trying to do?

Ocasio-Cortez has made it known that she's not pleased with many in the Democrat-controlled House establishment and that she intends to work to push the party further left.

"All Americans know money in politics is a huge problem, but unfortunately the way that we fix it is by demanding that our incumbents give it up or by running fierce campaigns ourselves," Ocasio-Cortez said. "That's really what we need to do to save this country. That's just what it is."

Saikat Chakrabarti, a co-founder of Justice Democrats and chief of staff for the incoming congresswoman, didn't mince words.

"We need new leaders, period," Chakrabarti said on the call. "We gotta primary folks."

The #OurTime project is the group's effort to repeat the "success" it had in helping Ocasio-Cortez win her election.

"We’re launching the #OurTime project to repeat our success in recruiting and helping elect @Ocasio2018. Now we're recruiting candidates who will help usher in a new generation of diverse working class leadership into the Democratic Party," Justice Democrats tweeted Saturday.

The group said it supports Medicare for all, abolishing the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, implementing a "Green New Deal," and rejecting corporate PAC donations, according to the New York Post.

“I don't think people who are taking money from oil and gas companies should be drafting climate legislation,” Ocasio-Cortez said on the call.

Which Democrats would the group target in 2020?

It's unclear which incumbents would be targeted but the group invited its members to submit suggestions for potential candidates and districts to go after, the Post reported.

But it does plan to make women and diversity a priority in its recruitment efforts.

“If you’re a strong progressive leader in your community and committed to getting money out of politics, I want you to join me in Congress. I want you to run,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted over the weekend.

One last thing…
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