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As progressives have renewed an active engagement with the Democratic Party, few things have infuriated them more than the party hierarchy picking candidates. While there was ample criticism of the Democratic National Committee's (DNC) performance in the 2016 presidential primary, far less attention has been paid to the role party leaders play in selecting down-ticket candidates. This process is a key mechanism by which the party fails—not only to uphold the values of its base and of the left, but at the ballot as well. If the Democratic Party doesn't change the way it chooses candidates, we could be left with a reformed party with strong ideals—and no elected officials to advance them.