Minnesota Democrat Angie Craig won the backing of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Wednesday in her quest to secure the Democratic-Farmer-Labor endorsement in Minnesota's open 2nd District.
Securing the support of 72 members of Congress is a strong boost for Craig, who will be competing with physician Mary Lawrence for the party's support at its convention next spring.
"I am gratified and humbled to earn the endorsement of 72 future colleagues and committed public servants that have already dedicated themselves to these same goals," Craig said in a statement Wednesday.
This is the first endorsement of the cycle from the CPC, which is co-chaired by Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison. Fellow Minnesota Rep. Rick Nolan is also a member of the caucus. Three members of the caucus — Wisconsin Rep. Mark Pocan, California Rep. Mark Takano and Colorado Rep. Jared Polis — had already backed Craig, a health care executive.
"We know that she will work tirelessly for our shared progressive values of creating economic security for all, protecting our civil rights and liberties, promoting global peace and security, and advancing environmental protections and energy independence," Pocan, first vice chairman of the CPC, said in a statement Wednesday.
Besides allowing Craig to tout the endorsement of current members, some of whom are likely to campaign with her, the CPC endorsement means Craig will receive a contribution from the group's PAC.
Lawrence had much more money in the bank — $1.25 million — compared to Craig's $633,000 at the end of the third quarter largely because of the $1.17 million Lawrence has loaned to her campaign so far. Both women are multimillionaires and both loaned their campaigns about $370,000 this quarter.
Craig, however, still leads in actual money raised in the third quarter, pulling in $133,000 to Lawrence's $38,000.
Craig told CQ Roll Call in September she would abide by the DFL convention's endorsement. Lawrence did not rule out the possibility of challenging the endorsement in a primary.
GOP Rep. John Kline, who currently holds the seat, announced his retirement in September . Several bigger-name Republicans have passed on the race , and the party hasn't yet coalesced around a candidate.
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