Hit List? Liberals Want Five Democrats Out in Midterms

Hit List? Liberals Want Five Democrats Out in Midterms Rep. Henry Cuellar Rep. Henry Cuellar. (Delcia Lopez/The Monitor via AP)

By Jeffrey Rodack | Tuesday, 25 January 2022 11:49 AM

Progressive Democrats, stung by their failure to push through their voting rights bill and the Build Back Better spending package, are now targeting five of their own party's lawmakers in the midterms, The Hill reported.

While the progressives remain outraged at Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz, for not supporting the measures, the two are not up for reelection this year.

Instead, the progressives have set their sights on other party lawmakers.

"We need strong progressives in Congress to have some sort of counterweight and leverage against the conservative, corporate-backed Democrats who are an obstacle to delivering results," said Waleed Shaheed, a spokesperson for Justice Democrats, a progressive group.

The Hill noted the Justice Democrats backed several liberal challengers to Democrat incumbents in the past.

"These primaries are where those seats come from, where that leverage comes from," Shaheed said.

Here are five moderate Democrats the left plans on going after in 2022, according to The Hill.

  • Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas. Progressives maintain he was a major obstacle to their goal of keeping President Joe Biden's spending package linked to the infrastructure bill last November. The FBI recently raided Cuellar's home amid a federal investigation into the former Soviet state of Azerbaijan and its ties to U.S. businessmen, according to ABC News. Cuellar said in a statement he "will fully cooperate in any investigation" and that he is "committed to ensuring that justice and the law are upheld." Cuellar has been heavily critical of the Biden administration's handling of conditions at the U.S.-Mexico border in west Texas, where his district lies. Progressives are now interested in Jessica Cisneros, who is backed by liberal lawmakers in her efforts to defeat him.
  • Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York. The Hill noted Rana Abdelhamid is competing against Maloney. The 28-year-old progressive told the news outlet she hopes that she can draw a contrast between her "establishment" rival "backed by Wall Street and real estate" who, she added, "has held this seat for as long as I have been alive." And she said: "We saw how important it is to have real progressives in Congress during the fight for Build Back Better."
  • Rep. Danny K. Davis of Illinois. Liberals are pushing Kina Collins, who is taking on Collins. Progressives maintain that Davis is too closely tied to corporate money. They say Collins relies exclusively on small-dollar donations to fund her bid. "We need progressive fighters," she said.
  • Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio, who is running for the Senate. Ryan is being challenged by Morgan Harper, a former adviser for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, in the primary. She's pushing for "Medicare for All" and the Green New Deal, while Ryan has enjoyed the support of the Democrats' establishment wing, according to The Hill.
  • Rep. Jim Cooper of Tennessee. Nashville native Odessa Kelly is challenging the conservative Democrat. She has picked up support from Justice Democrats and various progressive groups.