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Cenk Uyger, host of The Young Turks and co-founder of The Justice Democrats, launched a huge challenge on Thursday evening to Dianne Feinstein’s re-election bid to the US Senate in 2018.

Alison Hartson, 37, appeared on Uyger’s extended TYT show to announce her candidacy.

Within hours of the announcement, over $75k was raised with over 2000 small donations for her campaign.

California has an open primary, which will surely benefit Hartson’s chances. The primary is scheduled for June 5, 2018. The top two candidate with the most votes overall will advance to the general election in November, regardless of which party they represent.

Alison Hartson has a formidable record

Hartson, a former teacher in Orange County, was up until recently head of another organization Cenk Uyger co-founded called Wolf-PAC, which was formed to get money out of politics.

“We can’t expect change from people like Dianne Feinstein who helped to create this corrupt system,” Hartson said in a statement. “We can’t wait for some progressive ideas to happen 20 years from now. We need a democracy that works for people and we need it now.”

Although Hartson has never run for office before, she has a formidable record in the state already.

She organized more than 1,000 volunteers while head of Wolf-PAC in California, and was successful in making the state one of the first to pass a resolution supporting a constitutional amendment ending money’s corrupting influence on our political system.

Her leadership was also pivotal in passing similar resolutions in two further states.

Cenk Uygur announced he will be Hartson’s campaign advisor.

Will Feinstein withdraw from the campaign?

This challenge will be a huge blow to Feinstein’s chances of re-election to the senate. She already faced stiff opposition from Kevin de León, the state Senate president, who formally announced his run last month.

California is thought of as one of the more progressive states in the US, and Feinstein has a history of not sharing Californians’ progressive values.

Feinstein drew a chorus of boos at a Town Hall meeting earlier this year when she refused to come out in favor for Medicare for all. She is also well known for opposing progressive values including marijuana legalization and free college, while also supporting the Iraq war, TPP and the death penalty.

And recently, Feinstein face backlash from supporters after saying Donald Trump could be a “good president” if he can “learn and change”, and ruffled feathers by stating that DACA is on “shaky legal ground.”

There’s no doubt that her campaign will need a minor miracle to triumph now. Many reporters are suggesting she will could withdraw and retire before the primaries, rather than end her career in defeat.

Justice Democrats making waves

Hartson is not the only Justice Democrat to announce primaries against incumbent senators from the DNC.

Paula Jean Swearengin announced her challenge to Joe Manchin in the West Virginia 2018 primary a few months ago, and is already in near double-digit support despite having zero name recognition and hardly any press coverage.

Manchin, on the other hand, is underwater in the polls and seeing his numbers plummet.

The Justice Democrats have so far announced around 30 candidates for political positions in the house of representatives and senate, and will no doubt add more before the primaries next year.

When the Justice Democrats were launched in early 2017, they was greeted with derision from Washington and thought of as nothing more than a pipe dream. The political powers in DC thought the Justice Democrats would have little chance of making any headway in a world that relies on corporate money.

However, if Washington wasn’t paying any attention before, they are sure to have at least one eye on the situation now.

Alison Hartson, along with all other Justice Democrats, refuse to take any corporate  or PAC money.

Donations for any of their campaigns can be taken online at justicedemocrats.com

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