Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Deputy Chief of Staff Mike Casca is moving to lead the team for "Squad" member Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Punchbowl is reporting.
According to the news outlet, Casca joined the Sanders camp as communications director during the 2020 presidential campaign, then became the Senator's deputy chief of staff.
Several sources told the publication that Casca will replace outgoing AOC Chief of Staff Gerardo Bonilla Chavez, who has served with the Democrat firebrand since 2019.
Chavez left his position with AOC recently and told The New Republic in an exit interview Nov. 3 that he plans to visit Mexico City to "recharge" before returning to Washington, D.C., to further the agenda of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.
"The perspective that "G" brings is not just rooted in reading about working-class experiences but being rooted in and coming from that life," AOC told the publication.
In the interview Chavez, perhaps most known for locking AOC in an office bathroom for her safety during the Jan. 6, 2021 protests and violence at the U.S. Capitol, said he was getting burned out in his role.
"The vibe was off," Chavez said during the interview. "I was heads down at my desk when I heard this pounding on the outer door of our office. I didn't know who it was, but it wasn't like a normal knock. It was more aggressive than that — like a loud, jolting banging on the door."
He told AOC to lock herself in the bathroom until it was determined that it was a U.S. Capitol police officer attempting to evacuate members to a secure location.
"He seemed more panicked than I was," Chavez said. "I was like 'Whoa! Who are you? Who are you?' In a state of panic, picking up on the details as little as a badge, you don't notice that right away."
Casca declined to comment to Punchbowl about leaving Sanders and the shift to AOC's team.
According to the New Republic article, the "Squad" consisted initially of four progressive House Democrats including AOC, Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., and Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and has since grown to include Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., and Rep. Summer Lee, D-Penn.
The group is known for its willingness to take on the Democrat establishment to further its progressive goals in Congress.
Charles Kim ✉
Charles Kim, a Newsmax general assignment writer, is an award-winning journalist with more than 30 years in reporting on news and politics.
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