Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York spent the weekend in Texas as she headlined rallies with a pair of progressive candidates vying to join her in Washington next year by winning upcoming elections in the Lone Star State.
With Democratic primaries in Texas set for March 1, Ocasio-Cortez appeared at events for both Jessica Cisneros, challenging Democratic incumbent Rep. Henry Cuellar in the 28th congressional district, and Greg Casar, running for an open seat in the state's newly-created 35th district. Both districts stretch from Austin to areas in and around San Antonio.
Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican, "could never," tweeted AOC on Sunday afternoon as she shared a video of herself dancing with constituents following an afternoon rally with Casar in San Antonio:
At a rally on Saturday, Ocasio-Cortez bolstered both candidates by saying that Texas deserves more members in Congress willing to fight for working people and families over corporate interests.
"If we send a Democrat who doesn't give a damn about people, why would we expect people to vote for that person?" she said. "How can we win when we don't stand for anything? We have to stand for something in order to bring it home."
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Ocasio-Cortez said she was in Texas "to support two incredible game-changing candidates — both, I think, for the Democratic Party, but, frankly, for the country writ large."
In separate comments, she said she was in town because of the "long game" Democrats must be playing — and not just in safely blue states. "We flip Texas," she said, "we flip the country."
"Cisneros has really shown what is possible — not only here in San Antonio but all the way down in South Texas," said AOC at the Saturday rally. "She's shown that we don't have to accept status quo politics before we actually fight for change."
During a canvas launch party hosted by CWA Local 6143 on Saturday, Ocasio-Cortez and Cisneros were welcomed by union members and the New York Democrat described why deep canvassing in Texas and elsewhere remains one of the most vital tools if progressives want to win:
Sharing a video of Sunday's rally, Casar said a "better Texas is possible" so long as the people of Texas fight and organize for it.
During the rally, Casar credited Ocasio-Cortez for being an organizer who later "shook the halls of Congress" by running and winning as a bold progressive.
"She reignited in me and so many of us a fire by instead of talking about what can't get done, what it is possible for us to do," he said. "She showed us that when the people lead, the politicians must follow — that's what we're gonna do."