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Some Democrats Want Primary Challenge for Ocasio-Cortez

Last updated on September 25th, 2023 at 08:51 pm

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) has angered many of her new Democratic colleagues in Congress by aligning herself with a progressive outside group that has threatened to “primary” incumbent Democrats next year. Now some of those lawmakers are returning fire on her, and are considering recruiting a primary challenger to run against the 29 year-old.

“Some Dems float idea of primary challenge for Ocasio-Cortez”

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The young congresswoman immediately responded on Twitter, where she has 2.6 million followers, writing:

“You’ve got councilpeople who’ve been waiting 20 yrs for that seat.”
That broken mentality, that public office is something you wait in line for, instead of earning through hard organizing, is exactly what voters want to change. Shows you how disconnected some folks here are.”

Reportedly there is one House Democrat who has been privately urging members of the New York congressional delegation to recruit a local politician from the Bronx or Queens to challenge Ocasio-Cortez in 2020.

The Democratic lawmaker, who requested anonymity, spoke to The Hill and said:

“What I have recommended to the New York delegation is that you find her a primary opponent and make her a one-term congressperson. You’ve got numerous council people and state legislators who’ve been waiting 20 years for that seat. I’m sure they can find numerous people who want that seat in that district.”

Some members of Congress from New York view Ocasio-Cortez with skepticism. They were shocked last summer when she defeated then-Rep. Joseph Crowley who was the #3 Democrat in the House, and viewed as the probably successor to Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House.

Congressional Black Caucus lawmakers are also angry at Ocasio-Cortez after she and the grass-roots group aligned with her, Justice Democrats, said they were considering supporting a primary challenge to fellow New York Democrat Hakeem Jeffries. Besides being a Black Caucus member, Jeffries is also an establishment insider who succeeded Crowley as caucus chairman.

Both Ocasio-Cortez and Justice Democrats have denied the report, but the group of insurgent progressives has vowed to target centrist Democrats with primary challenges in 2020.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez believes she was sent to Washington to shake things up and get results. It is doubtful that anyone — even her fellow Democrats in Congress — will be able to keep her quiet or to stop her from expressing her progressive views. She believes that big changes are necessary in American politics, and she has vowed to help bring about those changes.

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