“We reject the DCCC’s attempt to hoard power, which will only serve to keep that talent pool—and Congress itself—disproportionately white and male,” said Urbina.

Thursday’s announcement of a shadow vendor group would seem to imply that the split in the party is reaching beyond rhetoric and into the realm of material reality—a secondary, progressive party apparatus, if created, will pose a credible threat to the party establishment as it is currently constituted.

“As a loyal Democrat and proud progressive, I believe that we don’t just need more Democrats in Congress—we also need better Democrats in Congress,” said Rebecca Katz, founder of New Deal Strategies. “I won’t hesitate to work with progressive candidates challenging incumbent Democrats who are out of touch with their constituents.” 

“If that means getting blacklisted by the DCCC,” Katz added, “then so be it.”

Sean McElwee, a Democratic activist whose company Data for Progress is a founding member of the project, said in a statement that he relished the opportunity to fight against the entrenched interests of the party in the 2019-2020 cycle. 

“This cycle, progressives made our intentions clear: we would work to unseat anti-choice, anti-LGBT bigots like Dan Lipinski and Henry Cuellar,” said McElwee. “The DCCC made a choice: to stand with bigots instead of the progressive future of the party. They will fail.”

Marisa Franco, the founder of Latinx advocacy group Mijente, said in a statement that the new list was part of a movement to reshape the party and, hopefully, the country. 

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“The Democratic Party is at a crossroads and establishment party politics are not going to successfully lead us into the future,” said Franco. “We need new voices and bold ideas from people who represent the diversity of the country and are willing to lead the new American majority that is built by movements for social justice.”

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