House Democratic leadership endorses Cori Bush ahead of primary

House Democratic leadership endorsed Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) on Tuesday in her competitive primary race against Democratic challenger and St. Louis County prosecuting attorney Wesley Bell.

“Cori has shown up for the people of St. Louis in the fight for reproductive freedom, gun violence prevention and affordable housing,” a joint statement from House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), Minority Whip Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) and House Democratic Caucus Chair Pete Aguilar (Calif.) reads.

“We stand together to endorse Cori Bush for re-election as we collectively work hard to make life better for everyday Americans and battle the corrosive extreme MAGA Republican agenda,” they added.

The Democratic leaders also pointed to Bush’s experience serving on the House Oversight and Judiciary committees, saying she “has championed constitutional principles like equal protection under the law, defended democracy and sought to expose far right extremism.”

The endorsement comes one month before what’s expected to be a closely watched primary race, set to highlight the different factions in the Democratic Party, particularly around the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza.

Bush has been among the progressive lawmakers most critical of Israel and its war tactics. Bell, on the other hand, says he supports Israel’s right to defend itself and pursue those responsible for conducting the Oct. 7 attack, which sparked the ongoing war.

The race follows the high-profile Democratic primary in New York, where Westchester County Executive George Latimer, a moderate, defeated Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.), a member of the “Squad,” in a race largely centered on the war in Gaza.

A recent poll shows Bush, too, could be in trouble.

In a survey conducted in June by the polling firm The Mellman Group for the organization Democratic Majority for Israel, Bush trailed Bell by 1 point — 43 percent support to 42 percent — a difference well within the margin of error.

Bell’s performance in the recent poll is a notable improvement from a January poll, which had Bush leading by 16 points.

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