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HomeUncategorizedLauren Ashcraft for Congress NY-12

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Insurgent Democrats Say We Believe All Survivors

As Democrats face an increasingly delicate political situation involving Tara Reade’s sexual assault allegation against former vice president and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, progressive challengers to House incumbents are using the moment to bolster their case for change.

At least half a dozen insurgent candidates have started airing concerns publicly about the Democratic Party’s handling of the developing story, even as Biden and his campaign have emphatically denied Reade’s allegation that he forcibly penetrated her with his fingers in 1993 when she worked as a member of his Senate staff.

Mckayla Wilkes, who is competing against the No. 2 House Democratic leader, Steny Hoyer of Maryland, put it simply in an April 26 tweet: “I believe Tara Reade.”

Those exact words were echoed days later by Lauren Ashcraft, the democratic socialist challenging longtime Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York, the chair of the House Oversight Committee. “I believe all survivors as default,” she tweeted.

Similar messages have come from other insurgent contenders. For them, the Reade story is compelling for a number of reasons—several candidates, for example, are themselves women who have spoken openly and candidly about #MeToo issues on the campaign trail. And many have simply never liked Biden in the first place, having supported Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) or other presidential contenders.

What’s more, challengers are running against the party establishment as much as they are against any specific incumbent—and the Reade issue has provided them another opportunity to argue that party leadership is out of touch and in need of replacement.