Elections

Here’s How Dem Candidates Who Supported Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal Are Faring In The Primaries

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  • Six of the 10 Democratic candidates that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s super PAC supported have gone on to win their primaries. 
  • Sixty of the House Democrats who supported the New York Democrat’s Green New Deal have also won their primaries so far.
  • One candidate supported by Ocasio-Cortez’s super PAC — Jamaal Bowman — campaigned explicitly on the belief that the Green New Deal is the “only option” available to solve what he believes is a climate crisis. 

Several Democratic candidates who received the backing of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s super PAC won their Democratic primaries, and other lawmakers who supported the New York Democrat’s Green New Deal won their primary elections.

So far, 60 House Democratic incumbents who supported the Green New Deal in 2019 have won their primaries, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation review of Ballotpedia. Four of the 10 candidates that the super PAC, Courage To Change, endorsed lost, while the remaining six won their primaries, a DCNF review of an archived version of Courage To Change’s website found.

Jamaal Bowman, for one, defeated Rep. Eliot Engel with 60% of the vote in New York’s 16th Congressional District. Engel is a veteran Democratic lawmaker who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee. He supported the Green New Deal but lost to Bowman, who championed Ocasio-Cortez’s legislative proposal.

Bowman stated on his campaign website that the Green New Deal is the “only solution” available to solve what he views as the climate crisis.

Activists rally in support of proposed "Green New Deal" legislation outside of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's New York City office, April 30, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Activists rally in support of proposed “Green New Deal.” (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Entrepreneur Marie Newman defeated Rep. Dan Lipinski of Illinois in a primary on March 18, putting her on the path to become another progressive lawmaker in Congress, alongside the likes of Ocasio-Cortez and Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. Newman received the support of Courage To Change and Justice Democrats, a progressive political action committee founded in 2017 that helped elect Ocasio-Cortez.

Lipinski, an eight-term incumbent, opposed abortion access, voted against the Affordable Care Act and refused to endorse former President Barack Obama in his 2012 re-election bid. His positions became anathema inside a Democratic Party that is leaning further leftward.

Kara Eastman of Nebraska, Georgette Gomez of California, Teresa Fernandez of New Mexico, and Mondaire Jones of New York also won their primaries with support from Ocasio-Cortez and Courage To Change. All of them endorsed her push toward radical change on environmental policies.

Conversely, Colorado’s former state House speaker, Andrew Romanoff, lost his senatorial bid to former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper on Tuesday. During his campaign, Romanoff enthusiastically supported the Green New Deal, which calls for drastic reductions in emissions and shifting the U.S. entirely away from fossil fuels within a decade.

Romanoff also garnered the support of the Sunrise Movement, a youth activist group that pushed the proposal.

Hickenlooper, a former petroleum geologist who has supported natural gas, will now face first-term Republican incumbent Sen. Cory Gardner in November. (RELATED: Ocasio-Cortez’s Chief Of Staff Admits What The Green New Deal Is Really About — And It’s Not The Climate)

Republicans in the Senate torpedoed the Green New Deal in March 2019, defeating the ambitious proposal 57-0. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called the bill a socialistic ploy.

Despite the mockery, Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts are still on board with the idea.

Sanders revealed his own Green New Deal in August 2019, promising everything from “virtually free” electricity and a “hunger-free” transition to green energy from fossil fuels. The democratic socialist’s nearly 14,000-page memo also lays out how he will deal with a variety of social justice issues.

Ocasio-Cortez’s version would cost households an average of between $74,287 and $76,683 in Colorado, Michigan and Pennsylvania, among others, a February report from the Competitive Enterprise Institute noted. The group worked with Power the Future and the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty on the report.

Power the Future is a 501(c)4 group that was founded to promote and defend people who work in the energy industry. The costs would increase dramatically, due in large part to the vague, overarching nature of the Green New Deal, along with other variables that could pop up in an economy run exclusively on green energy, according to the report.

Harry Whitehead contributed to this report. 

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