Democratic leadership fights rearguard actions against far-left takeovers

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House Democratic leaders are trying to stave off primary challengers to a swath of veteran lawmakers by younger, far-left rivals in the ideological mold of first-term Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Key House Democrats threw their support behind New York Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel this weekend in the hope of blunting the primary challenge he faces by an opponent backed by Ocasio-Cortez. Democrats want to form a protective barrier around Engel to save him from the same fate their former colleague Joe Crowley faced when he lost his Queens- and Bronx-based seat to Ocasio-Cortez during the 2018 Democratic primary.

Engel, 73, first elected to the House in 1988, represents municipalities in southern Westchester and the northwest Bronx. He received the endorsement of Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, a South Carolina Democrat, Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries, a New York Democrat, and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, a California Democrat.

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