U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a social media-savvy freshman, will endorse U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders for president this weekend.
The New York Democrat will appear with the Vermont independent at a rally in Queens on Saturday, reports the New York Post. The event has been promoted as a “Bernie’s Back” rally, noting his return to the campaign trail following a heart attack earlier this month. The presidential candidate made light of the health scare at a debate last night.
Ocasio-Cortez worked as a volunteer on Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign. Then two years later, she shocked the political world by defeating U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley, a high-ranking House Democrat, in a primary within a deep blue Queens district. She has sine become a high-profile face of a young, Democratic socialist wing of the party.
Sanders recently tweeted a public happy birthday wish to the left-leaning Congresswoman.
“Happy birthday @AOC! You are changing this country by having the courage to stand up to the rich and powerful,” Sanders wrote on Oct. 13. “Together we’ll make health care a right and ensure a thriving planet for future generations.”
Happy birthday @AOC! You are changing this country by having the courage to stand up to the rich and powerful. Together we'll make health care a right and ensure a thriving planet for future generations. pic.twitter.com/Ye1C9fXwin
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) October 14, 2019
The New Yorker has also been closely associated with a group of frshman called “The Squad.” Notably, fellow squad member U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar already endorsed Sanders and CNN reports another member, U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, will soon do the same.
The development comes as Sanders works to establish himself as the candidate for the liberal wing in a crowded Democratic field.
Recent polls have shown political ally Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren pulling ahead in the polls.
RealClearPolitics polling aggregate right now shows former Vice President Joe Biden still leading the field with an average 29 percent of the vote, with Warren at 23 percent and Sanders around 16 percent.
A boost from Ocasio-Cortez could provide a lift among young left-wing voters as the contest picks up with caucuses and primaries. It also further establishes the barely-30-year-old lawmaker as a coveted supporter, particularly among the party’s liberal base.