Freshman Representative Ocasio-Cortez is starting to make serious enemies and infuriating colleagues by aligning with a progressive outside group that’s threatening to primary entrenched Democrats.
Now some of those lawmakers are turning the tables on her and are discussing recruiting a primary challenger to run against the social media sensation.
At least one House Democrat has been privately urging members of the New York delegation to recruit a local politician from the Bronx or Queens to challenge Ocasio-Cortez.
What I have recommended to the New York delegation is that you find her a primary opponent and make her a one-term congressperson,” the Democratic lawmaker, who requested anonymity, told reporters. “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.” The New York delegation has eyed Ocasio-Cortez with skepticism ever since last summer when the 29-year-old self-described democratic socialist shocked the political world and defeated then-Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) in what many thought would be a sleepy primary race.
Crowley, a Queens powerbroker and affable House Democratic Caucus chairman, had been considered a possible future Speaker. Many New York and Congressional Black Caucus lawmakers were also furious with Ocasio-Cortez after a recent Politico report stated she and the grass-roots group aligned with her, Justice Democrats, were considering backing a primary challenge to fellow New York Democrat Hakeem Jeffries, a Black Caucus member and 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 Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) and is eyeing other potential 2020 targets.
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