Representative Ayanna Pressley is finally making her presidential allegiance crystal clear by endorsing Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Wednesday.
Pressley has made a name for herself as a representative for her Massachusetts district and as a progressive voice in Congress along with Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, and Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan— also known as “The Squad”.
However, with Pressley’s endorsement of Warren, she seems to be breaking away from The Squad with her views on who should be president. Ocasio-Cortez, Omar and Tlaib each endorsed Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont for president back in October.
Pressley announced her endorsement of Warren, who also represents Massachusetts, in a video posted to her social media. She captioned it, “Big structural change can’t wait.”
Pressley also said in a New York Times statement, “Elizabeth has made it her life’s work to pursue justice for working families and put economic and political power in the hands of people. We find ourselves in a fight for the soul of our nation, and I know Elizabeth can win it.” Pressley’s endorsement would make her the first high-profile Congress member to back Warren.
Pressley was elected to Congress last year following a grass-roots, multiracial coalition effort. She made history as the first Black woman elected to Congress from Massachusetts. With her endorsement, Warren could get a boost from Black voters, who are already starting to favor Warren despite Joe Biden still being the top pick for the Democratic nominee, according to polls.
Warren’s surge with Black voters isn’t a coincidence either. She’s done extensive outreach to Black progressive groups and Democrat leaders over the past year. “I have seen Ms. Warren in small church basements and in packed gymnasiums,” Pressley said in her video. “And she is consistent. She never loses sight of the people.”
Pressley has said before that even though she shares a certain “bond” and “kinship” with The Squad, all four representatives don’t always have the same views. “We are not a monolith,” she said, according to Boston.com. “We don’t land in the same place on every vote. We are each our own people.”
Other officials who have endorsed Warren include California Representative Katie Porter, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and two district attorneys — Larry Krasner of Philadelphia and Rachael Rollins of Suffolk County in Massachusetts.
Krasner initially received some backlash for endorsing Warren, considering he endorsed Sanders in the 2016 presidential election and Sanders significantly leads Warren in most polls. However, Krasner responded:
“I have not forgotten and no one should forget that Bernie Sanders, early in his prior campaign for president, said the only reason he ran was that he couldn’t persuade his friend Elizabeth Warren to run for president. I heard what he said, and I remembered what he said.”