Democracy for America endorses McKayla Wilkes for Congress in MD-5 primary battle

Today, Democracy for America (DFA) announced its endorsement of McKayla Wilkes in her Democratic primary fight against corporate Democrat Majority Whip Steny Hoyer in Maryland’s deep blue 5th Congressional District.

Born at Greater Southeast Community Hospital in Washington, DC, McKayla Wilkes was raised in Suitland, MD and intimately understands the struggle that low-income families face in Maryland’s 5th District because she’s experienced it herself.

While McKayla knew that beating a powerful incumbent heavily financed by moneyed interests would be tough, she decided to run to help bring fresh leadership and the perspective of a young, working-class woman of color to Washington’s corridors of power. In this race, she’s pledged to fight for affordable housing, Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, criminal justice reform, expanded voting rights, and humane immigration policy.

Statement from DFA CEO Yvette Simpson on the grassroots progressive group’s endorsement of Wilkes:

“Born to a single mother still grieving her father’s unexpected death and raised with the help of welfare benefits and a close extended family, the struggles low-income families in Maryland’s 5th District face aren’t an abstraction for McKayla Wilkes, they’re part of her life story. That’s why Democracy for America is so excited to endorse her race for Congress.

“The fact is, if the Democratic Party is going to be the champion working families need in Washington, we need leaders in Congress who are closer to the pain, not simply closer to the powerful.

“McKayla Wilkes fights for criminal justice reform because she’s seen first hand how our current system fails young people. She supports Medicare for All because her own cousin became visually impaired after struggling to pay for insulin. She’s ready to fight to strengthen the social safety net because as a young, working-class woman of color, McKayla knows what each program means for a family struggling to make ends meet.

“In 2020, progressives need to fight to hold the House, take back the White House, and return the Senate to Democratic control. However, the political transformation our country so desperately needs won’t happen if the Democratic Party continues to be dominated by the same corporate Democratic leaders who are beholden to powerful corporate interests and unwilling to challenge the broken status quo. 

“McKayla Wilkes will bring a fresh perspective, a bold vision, and proximity to the pain of working families that we desperately need on Capitol Hill -- and that’s why Democracy for America is honored to stand with her in this primary.” -- Yvette Simpson, CEO, Democracy for America

Statement from McKayla Wilkes on receiving DFA’s 2020 endorsement:

"I am so honored to be endorsed by Democracy for America and stand alongside fellow candidates like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib. DFA’s fight for progressive policies, diverse representation, and a government that works for ordinary people is exactly why I got into this race. Together, we can build the America we deserve.” -- McKayla Wilkes, Candidate, Maryland 5th Congressional District

Wilkes is just the third Democratic primary challenger DFA has endorsed ahead of 2020. In 2019, DFA endorsed Marie Newman (IL-3) in her primary challenge to Rep. Dan Lipinski that’s going to voters tomorrow and Jessica Cisneros who narrowly lost a House primary challenge against another anti-choice Democrat on Super Tuesday. <br>

DFA has 3,108 members in Maryland’s 5th Congressional District, 29,789 in the state of Maryland, and more than one million members nationwide.

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