One Democratic lawmaker told the New York delegation to find a primary opponent and make it happen.
The Hill reported this morning that Congressional Democrats have grown so angry with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) that they want to recruit someone to primary her:
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 The Hill. “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.”
Ocasio-Cortez took everyone by surprise in the summer of 2018 when she defeated veteran Joseph Crowley. However, looking at the numbers, the primary produced a dismal turnout with only 27,658 votes, which means less than 12% of the voters came out. Ocasio-Cortez received 15,897 of those votes.
The insider told The Hill that Ocasio-Cortez is “pissing off a lot of people,” mostly allies of Crowley. This insider mentioned Elizabeth Crowley, Joseph’s cousin, since she “is a woman” and has “been moving more to the left.”
I blogged earlier this month about the turmoil within the party over Ocasio-Cortez, especially after Politico published a report that claimed she wanted to back “a primary opponent against rising star Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY).”
I also noted that when I switched from socialist to libertarian in 2009, I tried to tell my new friends on my new side that the Democrats and leftists largely succeeded because they show a united front and take care of disagreements behind closed doors. Any fights that emerged to the public was done in a polite manner as well.
It looks like that’s what the Democrats want to do:
For now, New York Democratic lawmakers are playing nice with Ocasio-Cortez and her 2.6 million Twitter followers and say no one in the Empire State’s delegation is currently contemplating backing a primary challenger against her.
“We are going to see what happens. Generally for me, I’m giving folks the benefit of the doubt, the presumption of innocence. You might say one thing before you get in here, and then after you get to meet folks, you see what happens and how the body works … things are different, so we’ll see what happens,” Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.), whose district includes part of Queens, said in an interview.
“I can only tell you that the times I’ve spoken to her, and at the times she’s been at the New York delegation meetings, she’s been cooperative and wants to be a team player. That’s what she said, so you gotta take her at her word until something changes,” Meeks added.
Jeffries even told The Hill that no one has asked him to get a primary opponent against Ocasio-Cortez:
Jeffries, the No. 4 House Democrat who some say could someday become Speaker, insisted none of his House colleagues have approached him to run a primary challenger against Ocasio-Cortez. In fact, the 48-year-old Jeffries said, delegation members this month lobbied Democratic leadership to grant Ocasio-Cortez’s request that she be appointed to the House Financial Services and the Oversight and Reform committees.
“I don’t think that is something the New York delegation would contemplate. As you can see, we are totally united behind each other. … The New York delegation sticks together,” Jeffries told The Hill. He said Ocasio-Cortez denied the news report that she was backing a challenger to him, “so there was nothing to work through. I haven’t seen a primary candidate emerge, so I assume when she denied it, she was correct that there was nothing to it.”
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