Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York has endorsed state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi, a candidate challenging Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) in the Democratic primary in the state's 17th Congressional District — Maloney is the chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
"I'm running for Congress to challenge inaction and political cowardice. New Yorkers deserve fierce champions in Washington, and that’s why I’m so proud to receive the endorsement of one of the bravest fighters I know: @AOC," Biaggi tweeted.
"I respect Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and have worked with her on a number of policy matters, including as a co-sponsor of the Green New Deal. But, on her endorsement, we are going to have to agree to disagree," Maloney said in a statement, according to reports. "This election comes down to voters in NY-17, and I am honored to have received overwhelming support locally, including endorsements from nearly 40 elected leaders and Democratic Party committees."
Ocasio-Cortez had previously criticized Maloney's plan to run in the Empire State's new 17th District, a move that would have pitted Maloney directly against fellow New York Democratic Rep. Mondaire Jones, though Jones ultimately opted to seek election in another district. The New York Times noted that while Maloney resides in the state's new 17th District, that region is largely represented by Jones.
"Given the resources that he has at his helm, it creates a conflict of interest," Ocasio-Cortez said last month, according to Politico — the congresswoman said that if Maloney opted to run in a primary against a fellow Democratic lawmaker, he should relinquish his DCCC responsibilities.
The outlet reported that Ocasio-Cortez described Maloney's behavior as "particularly shameful as a member of Democratic leadership, especially as the leadership of the DCCC, who asks all of us to make sacrifices in one way or another, who asks progressives to make sacrifices on their stances in order to preserve a majority."
Democrats are heading into the 2022 midterms with an unpopular president at the helm — President Joe Biden has been underwater on his job approval numbers in various polls for a long time. The election cycle also comes as Americans are getting soaked by soaring inflation, and gas prices have been skyrocketing.