Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is set to endorse Bernie Sanders for the Democratic presidential nomination, Politico reports, citing two of the Vermont senator’s aides.
The endorsement, separately reported by the New York Times and The Washington Post, is expected to be announced at his “Bernie’s Back” rally in New York on Saturday, 19 October.
Ocasio-Cortez is a member of the “Squad”, a group of four freshman Democratic congresswomen who are among the most prominent detractors of President Trump in Congress; notably, all of the women are under 50 and none are non-Hispanic whites. The 30-year-old New York representative volunteered in Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign and ran for Congress in 2018 on a Sanders-style platform that included publicly-funded universal healthcare, tuition-free college, higher minimum wage, and massive government investment into climate change policies.
Another member of the quartet, Ilhan Omar, announced her endorsement on Tuesday night, saying that “Bernie is leading a working class movement to defeat Donald Trump that transcends generation, ethnicity, and geography.”
The two endorsements are expected to give a boost to the Sanders campaign and switch some voters on the “progressive left” to his side. The Vermont senator, 78, recently had a heart attack that pulled him from the campaign trail and saw him stall in the polls.
Sanders’ health issues and age were in spotlight during the Democratic presidential debate on Tuesday night, where he maintained he was “healthy” and “feeling great.” He said that the upcoming Queens rally was proof that he was capable of serving as president.
“Let me invite you all to a major rally we’re having in Queens,” he said. “We’re going to have a special guest at that event, and we are going to be mounting a vigorous campaign all over this country.”