It’s official! Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts has revealed that she fully endorses her home state senator, Elizabeth Warren as the next President of the United States. In doing so, Pressley breaks proverbial ties with her fellow progressive first-term congresswomen “squadmates,” who have all backed Sen. Bernie Sanders as the Democratic presidential nominee.
In a video announcement posted on Twitter on Wednesday and an email sent to supporters, Pressley went public with her decision to support her longtime friend and mentor.
“Elizabeth has made it her life’s work to pursue justice for working families and put economic and political power in the hands of people,” said Pressley in her statement. “We find ourselves in a fight for the soul of our nation, and I know Elizabeth can win it.”
Other members of “The Squad” including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan made it clear last month that they stand with Sanders in the race for President. Pressley’s decision to go against the group, however, has deeper implications that will keep her in good standing amongst the other members of the Massachusetts Democratic Party.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Pressley start to shy away from Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, and Tlaib who have become regulars at rocking the Democratic boat. At 45, Pressley is not new to this political game. She is an established political figure in Massachusetts who had prior relationships with Hillary Clinton and power brokers in her state. Word is that she may also be considered for Warren’s Senate seat should Warren make it as the Democratic nominee.
As the first Black woman elected to Congress from Massachusetts, Pressley’s endorsement can be a huge opening for Warren who is still trying to connect to Black voters. While former Vice President Joe Bidden is said to have a significant lead over Warren on the Black vote (mostly from older African Americans,) younger, progressive Black voters are still looking for a candidate who will respectfully take their needs seriously.
Enter Elizabeth Warren who, according to the New York Times, has made
significant outreach to Black progressive groups and Democratic leaders over the past year — more than any other white candidate in the race.
Pressley is hoping she can help improve Warren’s standing in the Black community even further by supporting Warren’s mantra of “big structural change” in government.
“I have seen Ms. Warren in small church basements and in packed gymnasiums,” Pressley said in the video. “And she is consistent. She never loses sight of the people.”
“You’ve all heard about the senator’s plans — but here’s the thing,” she added. “Her plans are about power: who has it, who refuses to let it go, and who deserves more of it.”
Story credit to Wendy L. Wilson/The Grio.
Photo credit to David Everett Strickler/Unsplash.