Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez | St. Louis Public Radio

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Cori Bush (at left) and Amy Vilela both took on establishment Democrats during their respective 2018 congressional runs.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

It’s been about a year since New York’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other progressive women around the country were busy taking on powerful Democratic incumbents during the 2018 midterms. St. Louisan Cori Bush was one of them, and her challenge of longtime Congressman Lacy Clay fell short in the primaries. But she and the three other candidates whose campaigns are featured in the new Netflix documentary “Knock Down The House” say 2018 was just the beginning.

Bush and fellow progressive Amy Vilela, of Nevada, were both in St. Louis last week for the film’s premiere in select theaters including the Tivoli, and they spoke with St. Louis on the Air producer Evie Hemphill shortly afterward.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay talks with supporters Tuesday night at a Pasta House restaurant in University City. Clay easily defeated his 1st District Republican challenger Robert Vroman.
File photo I David Kovaluk I St. Louis Public Radio

It’s fair to say this past election cycle was bad for Missouri Democrats.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill lost re-election. Democrats made no gains in either the Missouri House or Senate. And the party’s dismal showing in rural Missouri doesn’t bode well for future contests.

Election night felt different, though, for Congressman Lacy Clay. Not only was the St. Louis Democrat celebrating another term in the U.S. House, but his party is poised to take control of Congress’ lower chamber — giving the veteran University City Democrat more power and responsibility.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Cori Bush prepare to take a photo on Saturday, July 21, 2018, at Sqwires Restaurant in St. Louis.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

A Democrat challenging incumbent Congressman Lacy Clay is getting a boost from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who made national headlines earlier this year by toppling a long-time New York representative.

Ocasio-Cortez was in St. Louis on Saturday on behalf of Florissant Democrat Cori Bush. Her visit comes a day after Ocasio-Cortez joined Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in campaigning for Brent Welder, a former St. Louis resident is who running for a congressional seat in Kansas.