DFA, PCCC back Balter (NY-24), Campa-Najjar (CA-50) to flip two key swing districts

Today, the Democracy for America (DFA) and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) proudly endorsed bold progressive congressional candidates Dana Balter (NY-24) and Ammar Campa-Najjar (CA-50). Both candidates would flip red districts blue with their victories in November, and could possibly be the swing district to take back the House for Democrats.

Statement from DFA Chair Jim Dean on the grassroots group endorsement of Balter and Campa-Najjar:

“In too many districts across the country, the DCCC still doesn't understand that candidates who run on stale Republican-lite ideas and campaigns that continue to prioritize ever dwindling numbers of 'swingable' center-right voters actively hurt our chances of assembling the lasting majority we need in Congress.  

“After all, a Democratic victory in 2018 isn't just about retaking Congress --  it's about seizing control with a lasting majority that is deep, bold and visionary enough to win the even bigger, inclusive populist victories we need in 2020 and beyond.

“We are thrilled to be endorsing Dana Balter and Ammar Campa-Najjar today because they remain unbroken by the party insiders in Washington and are running the kind of bold, inclusive populist campaigns that will win in November, welcome in the New American Majority of people of color and progressive white voters, and help transform the country.” --  Jim Dean, Chair, Democracy for America.

Statement from PCCC co-founder Stephanie Taylor Chair on the PCCC’s endorsement of the two candidates:

“Let’s elect game-changing progressives in the blue wave that’s coming -- progressives are going to compete everywhere and they’re going to win.

“The Republican Party’s attacks on working families have opened up opportunities for Democrats to win in places they haven’t won in decades, and it’ll be essential for Democrats to embrace a bold, economic populist message in these districts. The DCCC is increasingly hurting Democratic chances to win swing districts by actively recruiting anti-choice, corporate Democrats who act like Republicans.

“We’re endorsing Dana Balter and Ammar Campa-Najjar because they’re authentic, inspiring progressives who will fight for workers and against big campaign donors who rig the tax laws to benefit themselves.” -- Stephanie Taylor, PCCC Co-founder

Dana Balter is a professor and progressive community organizer who is running a bold campaign on Medicare for All, higher wages for workers, and closing the Trump tax loopholes for big corporations and billionaires. Balter is running in a district Clinton carried by nearly 4 points in 2016, but rather than focusing on taking down Republican incumbent John Katko with a strong, progressive candidate, the DCCC recently recruited a primary opponent who is anti-choice to try and knock Balter out of the race. This is on top of a series of recent actions by the DCCC to chase away progressive candidates in primaries across the country, including Pennsylvania, Colorado, Texas, and California.

Ammar Campa-Najjar is a former aide in the Obama Department of Labor who has a strong history fighting for working families. Campa-Najjar is running a pro-worker campaign focused on Medicare for All, higher wages for workers, and real investment in infrastructure to create millions of jobs.

More about the Candidates

Dana Balter (NY-24). Dana is running to flip the congressional seat held by Republican John Katko. She’s professor, community organizer, and she’s also a lifelong advocate for people with disabilities, starting with her beloved younger brother Jonathan. She’s running for Medicare for All, women’s rights, universal pre-K, and higher wages. A conservative candidate who identifies herself as “secretly pro-life” was just recruited to run against Dana in the primary -- we need to have Dana’s back! Her primary is June 26.

Balter on DFA & PCCC Endorsement: “I just wanted to meet my Congressman to talk about healthcare. But John Katko wouldn’t meet with me, and he won’t meet with a lot of the people he represents. That’s why I decided to run for Congress. Members of the PCCC and DFA know how important it is to have representatives who will show up and listen. Representatives who will stand up to entrenched power and stand up for the people. They know how grassroots support can make a difference, and how much we need it in the fight against the Trump agenda. I’m honored and proud to have their support.”

Ammar Campa-Najjar (CA-50). Ammar is the son of a Mexican-American mother and Middle Eastern immigrant father, born and raised in East San Diego county. He helped support his struggling family by working as a church janitor in high school, working his way up to a position in the White House during President Obama’s administration. He developed an apprenticeship program at the U.S. Department of Labor to “earn while you learn,” and is running for Medicare for All, immigrant rights, and overturning Citizens United. He’s running to flip the congressional seat held by Republican Duncan Hunter. His primary is June 5.

Campa-Najjar on DFA & PCCC endorsement: “I’m honored to receive the endorsement of two national progressive organizations today, Democracy for America and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. CA-50 Voters are galvanized more than ever by the opportunity to bring an end to the 40-year Duncan Hunter dynasty; they’re ready to elect a people-powered candidate that has stood up for working families, universal healthcare, women’s rights, common sense gun reform, debt-free college and diplomacy abroad. I’m thankful for these critical endorsements and look forward to working with both organizations to make history this election.”

More About Democracy for America:

  • Democracy for America is a member-driven, people-powered progressive PAC  committed to taking on income inequality, money in politics, and structural racism and supporting candidates up-and-down the ballot who’ll do the same.
  • DFA has 150,701 members in New York, 308,856 in California, and more than one million members nationwide.  
  • As a part of its work in the 2018 election cycle, Democracy for America intends to raise and spend more than $12 million in support of progressive candidates, make more than 2 million voter contacts, and support more than 250 candidates nationwide -- like Dana Balter and Ammar Campa-Najjar -- in running inclusive populist campaigns committed to turning out the New American Majority of people of color and progressive white voters in November.
  • Since its 2004 founding, DFA members have raised and spent more than $54 million and made more than 21.9 million volunteer calls to help successfully elect 917 progressive candidates nationwide.

More About the Progressive Change Campaign Committee:

  • The Progressive Change Campaign Committee is a grassroots, progressive organization that endorses a select number of candidates each cycle. For top endorsed campaigns, the PCCC provides in-depth strategic support and resources -- including mobilizing a million PCCC members to donate and volunteer.
  • The PCCC has also endorsed Elizabeth Warren (MA-Sen), Beto O’Rourke (TX-Sen), Randy Bryce (WI-1), Katie Porter (CA-45), Greg Edwards (PA-7), Kara Eastman (NE-2), Andy Kim (NJ-3), Mike Levin (CA-49), Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), Kaniela Ing (HI-1), Jess King (PA-11), Veronica Escobar (TX-16), Liz Watson (IN-9), Brent Welder (KS-3), Cathy Glasson (IA-Gov), and Jocelyn Benson (MI-Secy of State).
  • Since its founding in 2009, the PCCC has raised over $26 million for progressive candidates and committees -- including over $1.17 million from over 70,000 small-dollar donations for Elizabeth Warren’s 2012 Senate run.
  • The PCCC has over 1 million members nationwide, including over 100,000 in California and over 58,000 in New York.
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