With the world anxiously awaiting the results of a presidential race that some have called “a matter of life and death,” the four progressive congresswomen who burst onto the national political scene in 2018 and quickly became known collectively as “the Squad” expanded their informal team in the U.S. House on Tuesday by at least four.
After two years of causing “good trouble” on Capitol Hill, Reps. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) were all declared the projected winners of their respective reelection races. They were joined by congressional newcomers Jamaal Bowman and Mondaire Jones, both of New York, along with Missouri’s Cori Bush and Marie Newman in Illinois — all of whom were declared as likely winners.
Justice Democrats welcomed the electoral victories of the initial Squad members, saying that “the Squad is big” and “the time for bold action and visionary leadership is now.” The group also celebrated the expected wins of Bowman in New York’s 16th District and Bush in Missouri’s 1st District:
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It's official. The first-ever recruited Justice Democrat candidate @CoriBush is going to Congress.
Six years ago police officers maced Cori in Ferguson as she helped spark a global movement.
Three months from now she’ll be holding police accountable as a member of Congress. pic.twitter.com/Fskoa1QQ65
— Justice Democrats (@justicedems) November 4, 2020
Congratulations to @JamaalBowmanNY in his victory tonight.
The 11-year old boy who was beaten by police officers and then started his own public school to take care of his community is now officially going to be a Congressman.
Congressman Jamaal Bowman, everyone. pic.twitter.com/dhGNwpcf43
— Justice Democrats (@justicedems) November 4, 2020
The group had also endorsed Newman of Illinois’ 3rd District. The youth-led Sunrise Movement, which advocates for the Green New Deal, also endorsed Newman along with the original members of the Squad and its newcomers.
“We were told that progressive candidates can’t win, but once again we proved them wrong,” the Sunrise Movement tweeted of Bush’s win, noting that the Black Lives Matter activist-turned-politician ran on defunding the police, a Green New Deal, and Medicare for All. “Cori Bush will be a fierce advocate for the people in Congress. She’s been fighting for her community and we know she’ll continue to do the same for us. We’ve got the momentum, and the people are on our side.”
Sunrise said that Bowman, who ousted longtime Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) in a primary this year, “is the people’s candidate and we can’t wait to keep fighting alongside him.”
The candidates themselves also weighed in:
I am beyond honored to be elected as the next representative for #IL03.
We couldn’t have done this without our amazing district-wide coalition. We will continue to build bridges and fight for a just country and economy for working families.
It’s a #NewDayinIL03.
— Marie Newman (@Marie4Congress) November 4, 2020
Wow. I’m so humbled to be the next Representative of #NY16. Thank you so much.
I’m ready to get to work to disrupt the status quo and deliver for our families.
Hold me accountable. Push me and my colleagues. I’m going to need you in Congress with me. There’s so much work to do. pic.twitter.com/xBEWcwxKSb
— Jamaal Bowman (@JamaalBowmanNY) November 4, 2020
To all the counted outs, the forgotten abouts, the marginalized, and the pushed asides. This is our moment. We came together to end a 52-year family dynasty. That's how we build the political revolution.
— Cori Bush (@CoriBush) November 4, 2020
Together, we have fought for our shared humanity. We have organized. We have mobilized. We have legislated our values.
I am so proud to be your Congresswoman & your partner in the work.
I believe in the power of us.
And we’re just getting started. https://t.co/P0jPUK04wM
— Ayanna Pressley (@AyannaPressley) November 4, 2020
Serving NY-14 and fighting for working class families in Congress has been the greatest honor, privilege, & responsibility of my life.
Thank you to the Bronx & Queens for re-electing me to the House despite the millions spent against us, & trusting me to represent you once more. https://t.co/MXG2Z2DV2F
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) November 4, 2020
Our sisterhood is resilient. pic.twitter.com/IfLtsvLEdx
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) November 4, 2020
They also got to work pushing a progressive agenda at the federal level. On The Young Turks Tuesday night, Bowman detailed some policies he would like to push — in the event that Democratic challenger Joe Biden beats President Donald Trump:
.@JamaalBowmanNY: "We need to legalize marijuana at a federal level and release everyone who's in marijuana due to marijuana convictions and expunge their records…"
— The Young Turks (@TheYoungTurks) November 4, 2020
Before Newman’s race was called, Ryan Cooper wrote at The Week that “while seven or so votes is not that many, it’s possibly enough to start swaying close votes — particular given that there are several other Democratic representatives who are fairly close to the Squad politically, and many others who are close to them on individual issues. The next House may have a serious left-wing faction for the first time in decades.”
The eight races that were called to double the size of the Squad Tuesday weren’t the only potential House victories for progressives. As The Intercept outlined Monday, there are various other potential candidates — including Kara Eastman in Nebraska’s 2nd District and Mike Siegel in Texas’ 10th District. As of press time, those two races were being led by Republicans but hadn’t yet been called, according to the New York Times.