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Troy Carter wins Louisiana’s special election in a coup for progressives

Carter, a Democratic state senator, won a candidate endorsed by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and supported by national liberal groups.

Progressives suffered a disappointing setback on Saturday after their favorite candidate lost to a more establishment-aligned opponent in a special Congressional election in Louisiana.

State Senator Troy Carter, who was supported by top leaders of Congressional Black Caucus, defeated state Senator Karen Carter Peterson in a second round to occupy a vacant House seat that quickly turned into a war for territory for Democratic Party factions. . He overcame more than a million dollars in foreign spending to help Peterson win, 56% against 44%, when the Associated Press called the race.

The district is a largely black and safe democratic territory; it includes almost all of New Orleans and extends north towards Baton Rouge. The former incumbent, Cedric Richmond, vacated his seat to join the Biden government.

In one of his final acts as a member of Congress, Richmond supported Carter, who also garnered the endorsement of the majority of Whip House Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.). Peterson was supported by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ex-candidate for Georgia Governor Stacey Abrams, EMILY’s List and activist Gary Chambers Jr., who came in third in the March primaries.

Carter took first place with 36 percent in that race, followed by Peterson with 23 percent.

He embraced the support of prominent Louisiana Republicans and may have attracted some Republican Party voters because they have no candidate of their own in the runoff. Peterson and his allies beat Carter for wooing Republican voters and emphasized his liberal good faith. She supports the Green New Deal and a minimum wage of $ 15.

The Congressional Progressive Caucus PAC, the independent spending arm of the EMILY’s List and the League of Conservation Voters spent $ 1.3 million to put Peterson on the air. But Carter had overtaken his opponent in early April.

A defeat by Peterson is a setback for the progressive movement, which is preparing for a show of strength in the special elections of 2021.

Democrats in New Mexico chose as their candidate for a special state election, Congresswoman Melanie Stansbury, a slightly more moderate choice than her main opponent. Now, the next best chance for the left to increase its ranks is in the August primary elections in Ohio, where Nina Turner, a former co-president of Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, faces the leader of the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party, Shontel. Brown.

Still, Carter’s arrival in Congress is good news for all Democrats in the House, because it calms concerns about his fragile majority. Spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) Will now have three votes left while pursuing important political initiatives.

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