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California Rep. Ro Khanna Joins Justice Democrats

The Justice Democrats, a new, progressive wing of the Democratic Party, is preparing for the 2018 midterm elections by vetting potential congressional candidates and even winning over sitting members of Congress. Ro Khanna, a U.S. representative from California’s 17th Congressional District, in the Silicon Valley southeast of San Francisco, announced his decision to join the Justice Democrats this week.

In an interview with The Young Turks’ Cenk Uygur (who is a co-founder of the Justice Democrats) Khanna explained why he joined: “It’s time that the Democrats had a clear, bold, progressive vision, and that we had spine and willingness to stand up for those bold, progressive ideas,” he said.

His announcement, however, sparked criticism on Twitter, where numerous users pointed out that Khanna has been linked to super PACs and Wall Street campaign finance in the past:

“I have always committed not to taking PAC and lobbyist money and [to] raising money from individuals,” Khanna responded on Twitter. “Please look at my voting record,” he continued. “It’s very progressive on financial transaction tax, breaking up banks.

“My hope is we can focus on the positive vision and encouraging new bold voices to have their chance,” he concluded. “It should not be a purity test.”

Khanna has been praised in the past by another Justice Democrats co-founder, Kyle Kulinski. In a recent interview with Truthdig, Kulinski noted that Khanna was an exception to the Democrats’ poor resistance to the Trump administration.

In his interview with Uygur, Khanna addressed potential opponents in the 2018 midterms.

“Challenges actually strengthen the party. If they’re good incumbents, they’ll win,” Khanna noted. “If they’re good challengers, they’ll win.”

—Posted by Emma Niles

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