Is the writing on the wall for a second Squad member? Last week, FEC reports showed Ilhan Omar getting blown out of the water in fundraising by MN-05 primary challenger Antone Melton-Meaux. In Michigan’s 13th CD, the opposite dynamic holds — incumbent Rashida Tlaib holds a massive fundraising advantage over her only primary challenger, Detroit city council president Brenda Jones. Jones has only raised $135,000, compared to Tlaib’s $2.8 million in a D+32 district.
However, the New York Times notes, Tlaib may not measure up to Jones in another way — and that might matter most to progressives in the Black Lives Matter moment:
Despite — or perhaps because of — millions of dollars in her campaign account and a national profile, Ms. Tlaib, 43, is likely the most endangered member of the so-called squad, the diverse group of progressive Democratic women who were elected to the House in 2018 and have come to embody the vanguard of the party’s majority.
Catapulted to national prominence by a profane call to impeach the president uttered on the day she was sworn in, and insulted with racist tropes by Mr. Trump, Ms. Tlaib has drawn plenty of headlines during her first term. Now her primary contest — a bitter rematch against a prominent Black leader — is testing Ms. Tlaib’s ability to ensure that her work outshines her celebrity.
It has also pitted two overlapping and often allied Democratic constituencies — Black Americans and the progressive left — against each other, making Ms. Tlaib, a symbol of the party’s growing diversity, into a target.
For more than a half century, Ms. Tlaib’s district was represented by John Conyers Jr., a co-founder of the Congressional Black Caucus who died last year. Brenda Jones, the Black president of the Detroit City Council who is challenging her, has positioned herself as a more fitting successor.