Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) broke with the other members of her so-called “Squad” on Wednesday after she publicly announced her official endorsement of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) for president in 2020.
“The American people deserve to be represented by elected officials who see them, who listen to them, and who fight for them,” Pressley said in a one-minute video posted to social media. “I have seen Elizabeth in small church basements and in packed gymnasiums, and she is consistent. She never loses sight of the people.”
“You have all heard about the senator’s plans, but here is the thing, the plans are about power — who has it, who refuses to let it go, and who deserves more of it,” she continued. “For Elizabeth and for me, power belongs in the hands of the people, that is why she’s fighting for fundamental change that restores power to those who have been left behind and centers those who have never had access to it in the first place.”
Big structural change can’t wait. pic.twitter.com/8Sanof9COD
— Ayanna Pressley (@AyannaPressley) November 6, 2019
The endorsement comes after the fellow members of her “Squad” of freshman Democrats, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), all threw their support behind Warren’s progressive 2020 presidential nominee counterpart, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Both Sanders and Warren have been competing for the far-left lane in order to secure the Democratic nomination for the presidency.
As Pressley remained the only member of the quartet not to publicly back Sanders, speculation mounted over who would ultimately receive her support. She revealed to the Associated Press on Monday that she was being courted by multiple 2020 Democratic candidates — including Warren, Sanders, and even former Vice President Joe Biden — in an attempt to gain her endorsement.
However, after she was pressed on her impending endorsement, a spokesperson for the congresswoman released a statement saying that while she “has tremendous respect for her sisters-in-service … ultimately, these political decisions are made as individuals.”
Pressley is slated to join Warren on the campaign trail later in the week, when the presidential hopeful holds a town hall meeting at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina.
As Warren continues to struggle to appeal with African-American voters, Pressley’s endorsement could potentially be instrumental in gaining traction among black Americans. Pressley is considered a rising star within the Democratic Party and is the first black woman to represent Massachusetts in the United States Congress.
Pressley won a stunning upset victory during the 2018 midterm election cycle, when she edged out 10-term incumbent Rep. Mike Capuano (D-MA) in the Democratic primary. Warren notably refrained from endorsing either candidate in the election despite most of the Massachusetts congressional delegation backing Capuano.
“This election is a fight for the very soul of our nation,” Pressley said, in what some consider to be a slight at Biden. “Elizabeth knows how to fight and she knows how to win. I am proud to call her my senator and I can’t wait to call her our president.”
“Big, structural change can’t wait,” she added. “Let’s get to work.”