Campaign

Warren co-chair Pressley says primary order should ‘absolutely’ change

Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), the co-chairwoman of Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass) presidential campaign, said the order of the primary nominating contests should change, citing a lack of diversity in the earliest states.

Pressley, the first black woman elected to Congress from Massachusetts, told Politico for a story published Thursday that the nominating order should “absolutely” change, claiming it favors white and male candidates.

She also dismissed Iowans who point to former President Obama as an example that Iowa and New Hampshire leading the primary voting season doesn’t hinder candidates of color. Obama won the Iowa caucus in 2008 and finished second in New Hampshire.

“You know what, people use Obama for everything: ‘This is supposed to be our evidence of a post racial America,'” Pressley said in an interview with Politico while campaigning for Warren in South Carolina. 

“Ultimately, whether we’re talking about racial justice or leadership parity or political representation, it’s not about these exceptional anomalies and one-offs. It’s about system change,” she added.

She’s not the only Warren surrogate to advocate for switching the order of the nominating contests.

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, who backed Warren after ending his own presidential campaign, has repeatedly said that Iowa and New Hampshire should be replaced as the first-in-the-nation caucus and primary states. 

Castro argues that the states do not reflect the diversity of the country, or the Democratic Party.

Warren, however, has not gone as far as her high-profile surrogates in lambasting the order of the primary states.

When asked in November about the order and lack of diversity in Iowa and New Hampshire at a presidential forum in South Carolina, Warren responded: “I’m just a player in the game.” 

Tags Ayanna Pressley Elizabeth Warren Iowa New Hampshire

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