The Congressional Progressive Caucus PAC was the first outside group to back Mondaire Jones, as the PAC’s first-ever independent expenditure campaign spent nearly $200,000 in support of his campaign
[WASHINGTON, DC] – Candidates backed by the Congressional Progressive Caucus PAC continue to pick up key victories in recent primaries, as Candace Valenzuela (TX-24), Mondaire Jones (NY-17), Teresa Leger Fernandez (NM-03), Ritchie Torres (NY-15), Kara Eastman (NE-02), and Dana Balter (NY-24) all won the Democratic nominations in their respective districts.
In June, the Congressional Progressive Caucus PAC launched a new independent expenditure effort, committing $1 million to back endorsed candidates.
In New York’s 17th Congressional District, the Congressional Progressive Caucus PAC was the first outside group to back Mondaire Jones, spending close to $200,000 to support his campaign. Jones won a commanding victory, despite being heavily outspent.
The CPC PAC ran multiple ads as part of a sustained digital and mail campaign highlighting Mondaire’s progressive record and vision.
In July, the Congressional Progressive Caucus PAC announced a $140,000 TV buy backing Beth Doglio, a progressive champion running in Washington’s 10th Congressional District.
The ad, which highlights Doglio’s support of Medicare for All and willingness to stand up to Donald Trump and corporate special interests, began airing Tuesday, July 14th and will remain on air through the August 4th primary.
The PAC’s Co-Chairs, Congressman Mark Pocan, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, and Congressman Jamie Raskin, have guided the organization’s recent strategic planning and fundraising growth. This fall, the PAC will focus on a number of November races, with progressives running in top-tier swing districts.
- Teresa Leger Fernandez (NM-03)
- Beth Doglio (WA-10)
- Ritchie Torres (NY-15)
- Mondaire Jones (NY-17)
- Marie Newman (IL-03)
- Dana Balter (NY-24)
- Kara Eastman (NE-02)
- Georgette Gómez (CA-53)
- Jon Hoadley (MI-06)
- JD Scholten (IA-04)
- Kai Kahele (HI-02)
- Candace Valenzuela (TX-24)
A full list of the PAC’s members and endorsed challenger candidates can be found here.
Read more coverage of the recent primaries below:
POLITICO: Sarah Ferris, Ally Mutnick, Heather Caygle: Progressives snatch much-needed wins in primary gauntlet
- The shakeup in New York also marks a huge moment for the Democrats’ left wing in the halls of Congress, including the 100-plus member Congressional Progressive Caucus.
- And the caucus is likely to pad its ranks even further in 2020 with more Democrats who support their ambitious agenda of tackling climate change, providing universal health care and overhauling the immigration system.
- Tuesday’s primaries were a big test of the CPC’s political arm, which had endorsed two candidates in uncertain open-seat New York primaries with double-digit contenders in each race. Both of those candidates — Ritchie Torres and Jones — are now on track to win in New York’s 15th and 17th districts.
- Torres and Jones — who are both running in safe Democratic seats and are all but certain to win the general election this November — would also be the first two openly gay Black members of Congress.
- The CPC’s campaign arm upped its efforts to play in open-seat primaries this year, launching its first ever independent expenditure to provide backing for Jones. It was the first allied group to launch ads supporting Jones, spending nearly $200,000 promoting his candidacy.
- Their efforts this year were a big jump from two cycles ago when the CPC PAC raised just $300,000 in total. Buoyed by small-dollar donations, it has brought in more than $2 million so far in the 2020 cycle, Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), co-chair of the CPC, said in an interview last week.
New York Times: Dana Rubinstein: Mondaire Jones Rides Insurgent Wave to a House Primary Win in N.Y.
- Mondaire Jones, a progressive candidate supported by the institutional left, was declared the victor in a crowded Democratic House primary in the suburbs north of New York City, all but ensuring that he will join Congress next year as among its first openly gay African-American members. […] Mr. Jones won the race even though Mr. Schleifer, a pharmaceutical heir, outspent him by more than five to one. Mr. Jones did however benefit from some independent expenditures on his behalf, including by the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
The Intercept: Ryan Grim and Aída Chávez: The Congressional Progressive Caucus PAC is Trying Something New: Winning Primaries
- In a race to replace the outgoing Rep. Nita Lowey, the CPC set up an independent expenditure arm and spent nearly $200,000 helping Mondaire Jones clinch the nomination against a field of better-funded, more corporate-friendly candidates. Now the CPC wants to replicate that success in the race to replace outgoing Rep. Denny Heck.
- The CPC ad, which is slated to run through the August 4 primary, focuses on Doglio’s support of Medicare for All and willingness to stand up to “corporate special interests.” “Only Beth Doglio is bringing people together behind Medicare for All, guaranteeing quality health care for everyone — with no premiums, deductibles, or co-pays,” a narrator says in the 30-second ad.
Texas Observer: Justin Miller: Historic Runoff Turnout Sets Stage for Texas Democrats in 2020’s ‘Biggest Battleground’
- In the 24th Congressional District, which covers the suburbs of Dallas and Fort Worth, former local school board member Candace Valenzuela handily defeated Kim Olson, who ran for Texas agriculture commissioner in 2018. Olson, a former fighter pilot, came in first in the primary and was seen as the frontrunner. Then, a coalition of national Democratic and progressive groups—including the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the Congressional Progressive Caucus—pumped money into the race on behalf of Valenzuela.
New York Times: Giovanni Russonello: How Progressive Candidates of Color Are Building Winning Coalitions
- This year, in New Mexico, Teresa Leger Fernandez campaigned in support of the Green New Deal and Medicare for all. She beat Valerie Plame, the establishment-backed Democratic candidate, in a primary in a heavily Latino congressional district.
Crooked Media: Sean McElwee, David Gordon: The 2020 Progressive Class Looks a Lot Like The 2018 Class
- On Tuesday, progressives won an ally in New Mexico. Teresa Leger Fernandez, a Latina attorney representing Native tribes and a breast cancer survivor, won her primary. She supports an across-the-board progressive platform, yet contrary to the simple narrative where progressive outsiders always stand in opposition to the establishment, Fernandez has won the backing of local elected officials, convention delegates, and EMILY’s List. AOC, Elizabeth Warren and Haaland had also endorsed her campaign.
- Beth Doglio, a bisexual mother, climate activist, and state representative, is running for Congress in Olympia, WA. Doglio. She has been endorsed by Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal and several labor unions, and could become the foremost advocate in Congress for Jay Inslee’s climate vision […] She faces Marilyn Strickland, the former president of the Seattle Chamber of Commerce, the business group that spent millions on behalf of Amazon’s corporate interests in local Seattle elections.
- But perhaps more than any other race in the country, Candace Valenzuela, a middle class Afro-Latina mother of two young kids, has a chance to become the face of a new progressive Democratic majority elected in the suburbs. Valenzuela was housing insecure growing up and speaks openly about her experiences with homelessness. Like so many moms who were called to run in 2017, she used her biography and experience to relate to her community as she was elected to the local school board. Now she is running for Congress. Endorsed by Porter along with dozens of other lawmakers and liberal groups, Valenzuela represents a new brand for left politics. She can prove that progressive candidates can carry not just any suburban districts, but those Trump carried by six points.
POLITICO, Ally Mutnick: House progressives wade into New York primary
- The political arm of the Congressional Progressive Caucus is launching its first-ever independent expenditure by weighing into a rare open seat in the suburbs north of New York City.
- Jones, an attorney who worked in the Obama administration, would be the first openly gay black member of Congress. He supports key progressive platforms like the Green New Deal and “Medicare for All” and has nabbed endorsements from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) ahead of the June 23 primary.
- The PAC has vowed to spend at least $1 million in support of its endorsed candidates in the 2020 cycle and describes itself as one of the only outside spenders dedicated to solely to helping left-leaning candidates.
Wall Street Journal, Kristina Peterson: Democrats Splinter Over Stopping Ruben Diaz Sr. in House Primary
- Over the weekend, the Congressional Progressive Caucus’s political action committee, which had initially stayed out of a race with multiple liberal candidates, also threw its weight behind Mr. Torres. “Having a candidate who doesn’t fit a democratic mold, much less a progressive mold in New York City doesn’t make a lot of sense,” said Rep. Mark Pocan (D, Wisc.), co-chairman of the Progressive Caucus PAC. “We wanted to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
Roll Call, Bridget Bowman: Bernie Sanders tests influence in House primaries for open seats
- By endorsing Jones last week, Sanders joined other progressive groups and leaders in backing [Jones], who worked in the Obama administration. The Congressional Progressive Caucus PAC launched its first independent expenditure to boost Jones, who is in a crowded field of eight Democrats. Jones is among three candidates who have raised more than $1 million in the primary.
- The Congressional Progressive Caucus PAC endorsed New York City Councilman Ritchie Torres, noting in its endorsement that there are “dramatic stakes” in the race, since another city councilman, Rubén Díaz Sr., could win the primary with a plurality, given his high name recognition.
Washington Post: David Weigel: The Trailer: A state-by-state guide to what to watch in tonight’s primaries
- “Mondaire is the only person really running with a progressive ideology,” said Rep. Mark Pocan of Wisconsin, the co-chair of the CPC, which has already endorsed 11 candidates this cycle and is making Jones the first beneficiary of a $1 million independent expenditure. “He’s got a great life story. He has the right value. And that made that a very easy race. You know, whoever wins that primary is more than likely to be the next member of Congress, so that’s the type of race that we’re more likely to get involved in.”