‘Squad’-backing PAC adds two NC candidates

Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., speaks during an interview Friday, Nov. 12, 2021, in Northwoods, Mo. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

RALEIGH — A fundraising PAC once aligned with Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Cheri Beasley is now bundling donations for two NC congressional candidates. 

Lead The Way 2022, which is affiliated with controversial Missouri U.S. Rep. Cori Bush, now counts former state Sen. Erica Smith, who is running for the state’s 1st Congressional District, and Durham County Commissioner Nida Allam, who is running in the 4th Congressional District.

The latest fundraising report for the PAC, which accounts for funds raised at the end of 2021, shows the group raised $230,000. Both Smith and Allam were added as co-fundraising partners after that end of year deadline.

The affiliation with Bush, which North State Journal first uncovered last summer, was noted by national political observers. Bush is a member of Justice Democrats, which advocates for a “mission-driven caucus in Congress by electing more leaders like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jamaal Bowman, who will represent our communities in Congress and fight for bold, progressive solutions to our current crises.”

Bush is also a self-proclaimed democratic socialist and supporter of the anti-Israel BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movement. She defeated a 10-term incumbent in the 2020 Democratic primary to win her seat representing the St. Louis area.

The PAC’s bank account is set up at Amalgamated Bank, a Washington, D.C.-based bank owned by the SEIU labor union.

Other candidates now affiliated with Lead The Way 2022 include Mandela Barnes, a Democratic U.S. Senate candidate in Wisconsin and Jessica Cisneros, who repeatedly has primaried incumbent Texas Democratic U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar and now is locked a runoff for the seat.