Progressive Wing Targeting NY 26

Levinthal: "They're using the AOC model"

Susan Rose
July 23, 2019 - 11:26 am

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Buffalo, N.Y./Washington D.C. (WBEN) -  Progressives are targeting what is considered a "safe congressional seat" in 2020.  The seat currently belongs to NY 26 incumbent Brian Higgins (D-Buffalo).

Justice Democrats, a Tennessee based political action committee, is looking for a more progressive candidate to replace Brian Higgins in 2020.

"You should expect to see more of this," said Dave Levinthal, Senior Political reporter with the Center for Public Integrity. "You're going to see pockets of this across the country, targeting an incumbent like Brian Higgins, who is relatively comfortable.  The very Progressive wing of the Democratic Party sees an opportunity," he said. "It's kind of like the AOC model," referring to the election last year of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). 

How vulnerable is Higgins?

"The reality is, that if you are an incumbent member of Congress, it's incredibly difficult for anyone to come in and defeat you," said Levinthal. "Incumbency is one of the most powerful things you can have in politics.  It's no guarantee, but it's the closest thing you can get to a guarantee". 

Erie County Democratic Party chairman Jeremy Zellner is also weighing in.  Zellner tweeting Tuesday, "We do not need people, with no stake in our community dictating who should represent us in Washington. We are proud to stand with Higgins and all he has done on our behalf. #TeamHiggins #TeamECDC.

Zellner went on to say that "Brian Higgins is one of the most effective members of Congress Western New York has ever had. He has been instrumental in the rebirth of our waterfront and our region’s economic renaissance".

For his part, Congressman Higgins is not concerned about the progressive push.  




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