Former White House financial reform adviser Elizabeth Warren, who is now running for the right to challenge Republican Sen. Scott Brown in Massachusetts, is consolidating national progressive support in her Democratic primary. The Huffington Post reports that Warren has now picked up the endorsement of former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI), who was a major liberal voice in the Senate until his defeat in the 2010 Republican wave.
Feingold writes in an e-mail going out to his Progressives United PAC supporter list:
“In 2005, she stood up against the Wall Street wish list of a bankruptcy bill — a huge corporate giveaway I opposed in the Senate. And after the big banks drove us into a recession, Elizabeth proposed a new Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, and then fought tirelessly to make sure the Obama administration created it. So when Elizabeth announced her decision to run for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts this month, to keep fighting for middle class families on Capitol Hill, I couldn’t have been happier.”
Feingold also tells recipients — many of whom are probably still quite sore about his loss — that Warren would be like he was in office. “In all my years in the Senate, I always took positions that I believed in, even when my own party tried to stand in the way,” Feingold writes. “I know Elizabeth will be exactly the same kind of senator.”
The Democratic primary is a long way off — all the way in September 2012. Warren faces a wide Democratic primary field that includes philanthropist Alan Khazei, state Rep. Tom Conroy, Newton Mayor Setti Warren (no relation) and others. But for now, she is clearly the favorite for the nomination.
Brown was elected to the Senate in a special election in January 2010, following the death of long-time Sen. Ted Kennedy, in a stunning upset against Democratic state Attorney General Martha Coakley. However, a recent survey from Public Policy Polling (D), conducted shortly after Warren launched her campaign, showed her taking a lead of 46%-44% — a result that seems to have surprised Brown himself.