WASHINGTON — Rep. Ayanna Pressley is endorsing Sen. Elizabeth Warren for president, breaking with the other members of “the Squad” who backed Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign last month.
Pressley announced her support for her fellow Massachusetts Democrat in a video released Wednesday.
The endorsement ended months of speculation about Pressley’s plans, and places one of the rising stars of the Democratic Party in Warren’s camp at a critical stretch. Several other candidates, including Sanders and Pete Buttigieg, are fighting for undecided black voters in an effort to close the gap with former vice president Joe Biden.
As if to nod to Biden’s prolific use of the phrase, Pressley delivered a familiar line in the video: “This election is a fight for the very soul of our nation.”
Last month, three of Pressley’s closest allies in the House of Representatives — Reps. Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — each publicly endorsed Sanders for president. But Pressley noticeably stayed on the sidelines; her office at the time said that the first-term member of Congress had “tremendous respect for her sisters-in-service” but would make her own decision.
That decision is now official.
“I’m proud to call her my senator," said Pressley. "I can’t wait to call her our president.”
Pressley’s first official appearance on the campaign trail is scheduled for Thursday in Raleigh, North Carolina, where Warren will conduct a town hall meeting.
“You've all heard about the senator’s plans, but here's the thing: The plans are about power — who has it, who refuses to let it go, and who deserves more of it. For Elizabeth and for me, power belongs in the hands of the people," Pressley said in the video. "That's why she's fighting for fundamental change that restores power to those who've been left behind, and centers those who've never had access to it in the first place.”
Pressley's endorsement had been one of the most coveted in the presidential race, in part because she has strongly represented the Democratic Party's bedrock constituency in Congress: black women.
She skyrocketed to prominence in the Democratic Party last fall when she defeated Democratic incumbent Mike Capuano in Massachusetts’s 7th District. Warren did not endorse in that primary.
Almost immediately after her election, Pressley began pushing her party to advocate for “lasting, transformative change.”
“I know, given the new people that we engaged in democracy, that we have restored hope for many. We have given hope to many, and we must do everything we can to keep that hope,” she said at a closed-door DNC meeting with party donors in December.