U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley is endorsing U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren for president — throwing her support behind her Massachusetts colleague while breaking ranks with her fellow “squad” members.

“At a time when so many people find their lives threatened and their dreams denied, we need bold, compassionate leaders who put power back in the hands of people,” Pressley said in a statement Wednesday. “I am so grateful to call Elizabeth Warren a friend, a partner in good, and my Senator. I am proud to endorse her candidacy for President.”

Pressley chose loyalty to her home-state senator rather than following in the footsteps of the other three minority freshman congresswomen who comprise “the squad” — U.S. Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) — all of whom have endorsed Warren’s main progressive rival for the Democratic nomination, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

Pressley said earlier this week she’d been courted by the campaigns of three top-tier Democratic presidential hopefuls — Warren, Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden — but told the Associated Press she was focusing on Tuesday’s local elections.

Warren represents the first major endorsement by Pressley, the rising progressive star who unseated incumbent Congressman Michael Capuano last fall to become the first black woman to represent Massachusetts in Congress after spending a decade on the Boston City Council. She released an endorsement video heaping praise on Warren and will join the senator on the campaign trail Thursday in North Carolina.

“From fighting to erase income inequality and close the racial wealth gap, to taking on the epidemic of gun violence and working to dismantle structural racism, Elizabeth has made it her life’s work to pursue justice for working families and put economic and political power in the hands of people,” Pressley said.

Pressley’s support could aid Warren with winning over African Americans, a demographic with which she’s struggled compared to Biden, even as she rose in the polls.

“We find ourselves in a fight for the soul of our nation, and I know Elizabeth can win it,” Pressley said.

Warren thanked Pressley on Twitter, saying, “I’m proud to be fighting alongside you to put power in the hands of the people.”


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