A wealthy donor “worth over $200 million” wants to make sure Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez loses her next election, according to the New York Post, citing Bronx Republican chairman Mike Rendino.
“There’s definitely national energy and money on this race,” Rendino told the Post, adding that the mystery donor has “connections to raise money in Manhattan.”
The Democratic Socialist, who was elected after convincing voters she was a blue-collar “girl from the Bronx” despite growing up in one of the wealthiest enclaves on the East Coast, already faces challenges from one contender; Egyptian-American medical journalist Ruth Papazian – while a former cop-turned-high school civics teacher and a conservative talk radio producer may toss their hats in the ring as well.
The three potential contenders agree on one thing: They believe Ocasio-Cortez has neglected her district, which encompasses a northeast section of the Bronx including Throgs Neck and Parkchester and a northwest portion of Queens including Jackson Heights and College Point.
It took the congresswoman two months to open a district office in Queens.
“She completely ignores the people in this district,” medical writer Ruth Papazian, 61, told The Post during an interview at the homestyle Italian eatery Patricia’s of Morris Park. –New York Post
Papazian lives several blocks away from Morris Park with her 85-year-old mother in the same apartment she grew up in following the family’s emigration from Egypt in 1956.
“I’ve lived here my whole life. I know the heart and soul of this community. The people here have scratched and clawed their way into the middle class, and they’re not about to be impoverished with the high taxes it will take to make the Green New Deal and Medicare for all,” said Papazian – referring to two of Ocasio-Cortez’s policy goals.
According to former Gov. Pataki deputy, Tom Doherty, a Republican challenger to Ocasio-Cortez would have no problem trying to “raise real national money.”
“We need to put individuals forward and make the incumbent work for re-election,” said Doherty.
Papazian has met with former Trump campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, at a Lincoln Day dinner in Queens, where a source told the Post: “He was encouraging and offered to be helpful when Ruth has demonstrated that she can raise enough money for a serious race.”
AOC won the 14th Congressional District with over 78% of the vote, while Hillary Clinton had 57% in 2016, however a recent Siena College Poll found that while 52% of AOC’s constituents view her favorably, just 33% backed her opposition to Amazon bringing a second headquarters to Queens, and just 41% support her Green New Deal.
“She’s only interested in a national platform, and we need local representation,” says former NYPD Officer John Cummings. The 58-year-old who now teaches US government at St. Raymond High School for Boys in Parkchester is considering a run against the Democratic Socialist. Cummings acknowledges that “it’s a difficult road because this is a heavily Democratic district.”
Her other potential challenger – Mark Levin producer Rich Valdes joked that Ocasio-Cortez’s initials could stand for “ambition over constituents.” The 40-year-old launched an exploratory committee in February, meeting with Republican clubs in the Bronx and Queens.
“They’re really, really kind of discouraged at the fact that she was elected on this platform of representing the district because she ran against [former Rep. Joe] Crowley, positing him as being no-show, and she’d turned out to be very much the same way a no-show person,” said Valdes.