Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will face a challenge from her own party when she runs for re-election in 2020.
New York City councilman Fernando Cabrera announced his intention to challenge the freshman congresswoman in the 14th district on Thursday.
“My entire life has been dedicated to the service of our community and our merciful God,” Cabrera said in a press release. “With today’s announcement, I am taking the next step on that journey as I seek to represent the under-represented voters of the 14th congressional district. I know many will dismiss this effort as a quixotic mission taking on our media-star congresswoman. To them I say, while it is a mission, there is nothing quixotic or naïve about it.”
Cabrera has served on the city council since 2010. He’s not currently a resident of the district. However, he says he can improve on Ocasio-Cortez’s record.
“Honestly,” said Cabrera, “I feel like I have done more for the residents of the Bronx and Queens during my tenure on the Council than Ms. Ocasio-Cortez has done during her term in office. In my opinion, my opponent has been far more focused on the Green New Deal and building her national profile than she has been on the basic needs of our community like creating jobs, fighting crime and protecting and educating our children.”
Ocasio-Cortez respoded in a fundraising e-mail sent out Thursday night. The e-mail refers to Cabrera as a “conservative Democrat” and coded this as establishment Democrats looking to get revenge.
“Ever since we defeated Joe Crowley, corporate Democrats have been waiting for their chance to strike back,” the e-mail states. “Our opponent doesn’t play by the same rulebook we do. He’ll be more than willing to raise huge dollars from wealthy donors, take special interest PAC money, and pander to corporate giants like Amazon.”
Ocasio-Cortez initially rose to fame dethroning Crowley from his long term seat in a primary upset.
Meanwhile, several Republicans are trying to win the seat in a heavily Democratic district. Challengers include Ruth Papazian, Miguel Hernandez, Rey Solano, Antoine Tucker, Scherie Murray and John Cummings are among the challengers from the right.