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AOC endorses Markey as Kennedy mulls Senate challenge

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WASHINGTON — Bringing her political star power to races for Congress, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Friday endorsed Democratic Sen. Ed Markey for re-election in Massachusetts as he faces a potential primary challenge from Rep. Joe Kennedy III.

Ocasio-Cortez said in a video released by Markey’s campaign that she’s backing the Democratic incumbent as one of the Senate’s “strongest progressives” and her partner on the Green New Deal climate change proposal.

She said she is “proud to enthusiastically support” Markey’s reelection.

“When I first got to Congress and we started to discuss big, bold plans — a solution on the scale of the crisis — many members shied away,” the freshman lawmaker said. “Ed Markey was one of the few people that had the courage to stand up and take a chance.” The Boston Globe first reported the endorsement.

Backing from the influential freshman lawmaker is a potential setback for Kennedy, as Markey has been racking up endorsements and the congressman weighs whether to jump in the race.

A primary in Massachusetts would pit Markey, the longtime lawmaker, against a popular four-term congressman from the iconic political family. He is the grandson of Robert F. Kennedy.

Ocasio-Cortez’s endorsement comes as the liberal newcomer is turning her political attention on congressional races for the House and Senate.

Earlier this week, Ocasio-Cortez said she’s skipping presidential primary endorsements, for now. Instead, she told reporters she’s focusing on House and Senate races. She said she’ll be rolling out endorsements “soon.”

“I really want to focus on our congressional endorsements first,” the New York Democrat said this week.

“Our presidential candidates are fabulous, but they take up a lot of attention and so they don’t need my help right now,” she said. House and Senate races, she said, “really need a lot of help and attention.”

Ocasio-Cortez is heading to Colorado next week to headline a fundraising dinner for Democrats in Boulder and participate in activities around the climate strike protests, a worldwide walkout of young people from schools, homes, jobs to demand action on climate change. She also said she would be holding a town hall with a Colorado lawmaker.

Known by her initials AOC, the liberal newcomer toppled a House Democratic leader with a remarkable 2018 primary challenge that stunned Washington.

But putting her political power to work is not without its risks. Lawmakers resent challenges from their peers in primary elections, and some are already warily watching her moves.

A group aligned with Ocasio-Cortez, Justice Democrats, has already announced its support for primary challenges to other congressional Democrats in 2020.



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O'Rourke, Buttigieg clash over gun policy

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Following his comments about gun reform at last week’s debate, Beto O’Rourke is facing push back from lawmakers and some of the 2020 field.

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David Cameron did the right thing – Ex-PM’s legacy defended by Express.co.uk readers

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DAVID CAMERON was absolutely right to give the British people a vote on their EU membership but never in his “wildest dreams” did he consider they would opt out of the bloc, Express.co.uk readers have concluded.

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Trump awards Presidential Medal of Freedom to baseball legend Mariano Rivera

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WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom to New York Yankees legend Mariano Rivera on Monday.

Trump praised Rivera, the first player to be unanimously elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, for his storied career and achievements on the field and off it, where he has donated scholarships and school supplies to low-income communities.

Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees pitches against the Minnesota Twins in Game One of the ALDS during the 2009 MLB Playoffs at Yankee Stadium.Jared Wickerham / Getty Images file

“Mariano Rivera has made extraordinary contributions to American sports, culture and society,” Trump said. “He is the most dominant relief pitcher in the history of baseball. And more than that, he has lived the American dream and shines as an example of American greatness for all to see.”

A five-time World Series champion and 13-time All-Star, Rivera holds the Major League Baseball record for saves, with 652, in his 19-season career, all with the New York Yankees. Rivera, who earned the 1999 World Series MVP title, was the first Yankee to save 300 games.

Rivera joined a growing list of professional athletes to be awarded the nation’s highest civilian award by Trump — three within the past month alone.

He is the 12th individual to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom during Trump’s presidency. Other recent Trump honorees have included NBA Hall of Famers Jerry West and Bob Cousy and golf great Tiger Woods.

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