Can the squad get BIGGER? AOC and Ilhan Omar welcome five liberal interim winners

A whole new “squad” of progressives is headed to Capitol Hill next year — and could join forces with the Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez anchored group that made headlines by pushing the Democratic Party further to the left and causing a few headaches for party leaders. the route.

While the House of Representatives is on track to go Republican starting Thursday morning, Democrats outperformed expectations to retain some key rocking chairs.

Meanwhile, there were also hopeful conventioners running in safe blue areas that were still making history.

Maxwell Frost, 25, of Florida is the first Gen Z member to be elected to Congress and one of the youngest elected congressmen in history.

In Vermont, Becca Balint won a decisive victory to become the state’s first female and LGBTQ person elected to Congress.

Summer Lee, the first black woman elected to Congress from Pennsylvania, triumphed despite millions of dollars being spent in favor of her more moderate Democratic primary rival.

It remains to be seen whether all five will merge outside of the Congressional Progressive Caucus or join the existing “Squad.”

The 'Squad' consisted of the original Reps members.  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (left), Ilhan Omar (right), Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib

The ‘Squad’ consisted of the original Reps members. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (left), Ilhan Omar (right), Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib

The informal alliance was formed in 2019 with core members elected in the 2018 “blue wave”: Ocasio-Cortez in New York, Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Rep. Ayanna Pressley from Massachusetts.

In 2020, two more progressives were elected who later joined, Rep. Cori Bush of Missouri and Rep. Jamaal Bowman from New York.

But at least the House Democrats’ progressive presence is guaranteed to grow, especially as some moderates in key areas fell for Republican challengers on Tuesday.

Summer Lee (PA-12)

Summer Lee defeated Republican Mike Doyle in Pennsylvania’s newly signed 12th Congressional District and made history as the first black woman elected to represent Keystone State on Capitol Hill.

She made a similar history when she was elected to the Pennsylvania state house before pursuing a career as a civil rights lawyer.

Lee went November 8 armed with approvals from every Squad member plus progressive Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.

She ran the race on similar platforms and was a supporter of Medicare for All and the Green New Deal.

The United Democracy Project PAC, the campaign finance arm of the US Israel Public Affairs commission, spent six figures on both the primary and overall race to beat Lee — and failed.

The 34-year-old progressive defeated Republican rival Doyle by just over 10 points.

Summer Lee will be the first black woman in Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation when she heads to Capitol Hill next year

Greg Casar (TX-35)

Austin City Council member Greg Casar won his Texas House race with about three-quarters of the vote.

In his city position, the progressive congressman had called for police budget cuts and the repeal of Austin’s ban on homeless camps.

Like Lee, he also scored a number of progressive endorsements from big names, such as Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez.

However, at his election night party, Casar shook off worries that he would legislate for the far left — despite his deep-blue constituency.

“I’m ready to put my name on powerful legislation that would help the common person, whether the bill’s sponsor is a Democrat or a Republican Independent. No me importa,” Casar said, according to Fox 7 Austin.

Austin City Council member Greg Casar won his Texas House race with the approvals of Ocasio-Cortez, Senator Bernie Sanders and Senator Elizabeth Warren

Maxwell Frost (FL-10)

Maxwell Frost is a 25-year-old progressive activist who made history as the first Gen Z member elected to Congress, sailing to victory in his Democratic district anchored by Orlando.

He won in the Sunshine State, despite some major Republicans’ gains there, including flipping the vacant seats of Democratic Representatives Charlie Crist and Stephanie Murphy, as well as a decisive reelection win for Governor Ron DeSantis.

Formerly an activist for the American Civil Liberties Union and March For Our Lives, Frost gained meaningful endorsement from the father of teenage Jamie Guttenberg, who was killed in the mass shooting of the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas high school in Florida.

He takes over the seat left open by Democratic Rep. Val Demings, who left it to fight unsuccessfully for the Senate against GOP Senator Marco Rubio.

President Joe Biden gave Frost a special shoutout during his post-midterms press conference on Wednesday afternoon.

“I told him I was the first elected – the second-youngest person ever elected to the United States senator, at the age of 29,” the 79-year-old president said. “And I have no doubt he’s off to an incredible start to what I’m sure will be a long, impressive career.”

Maxwell Frost became the first Generation Z person elected to Congress when he won the seat vacated by Rep. Val Demings

Becca Balint (VT-General)

Vermonters are allowed to send only one representative to the House, and they have chosen their first wife and first openly LGTBQ person for the job.

Becca Balint won more than 60 percent of the vote and was supported by Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont.

When she goes to Capitol Hill in January, she will currently be the only openly LGBTQ member of Congress.

“Today we reaffirmed that Vermont, and this country, is still a place where anything is possible. We are still able to change and make progress,” said Balint, a former schoolteacher, as he claimed victory early Wednesday morning.

“Tonight, after 231 years, Vermonters are sending a woman and openly gay to Congress for the first time.”

As a current state legislator in Vermont, she has acted in favor of affordable housing and gun control safeguards.

Becca Balint Becomes First Woman and First LGBTQ Person to Send Vermont to the House of Representatives

Delia Ramirez (IL-03)

Illinois state legislator Delia Ramirez is yet another progressive Democrat to run to Congress next year after properly defeating Republican Justin Burau.

With her win in Chicago, Ramirez becomes the first Midwestern Latina to be elected to Congress.

Her left-wing credentials include endorsements from the Working Families Party and representatives Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Ayanna Pressley.

Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Rep. Pramila Jayapal also approved Ramirez.

“We have broken a glass ceiling,” Ramirez told supporters on Tuesday evening.

On her website, Ramirez praises her work on behalf of immigrants as an Illinois state legislator, writing that she had “co-sponsored legislation to prevent the Illinois police from acting as Trump and IL’s deportation force one of the most immigrant-friendly states in the world.” the nation made. .’

And Illinois state legislator Delia Ramirez won her race in Chicago’s 3rd congressional district