AOC Facing 13 Challengers in Re-Election Campaign

5 of them are from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's own party
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 17, 2020 1:11 PM CST
AOC Facing 13 Challengers in Re-Election Campaign
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., speaks at a campaign rally for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., at the Whittemore Center Arena at the University of New Hampshire, Monday, Feb. 10, 2020, in Durham, NH.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will not exactly cruise uncontested to re-election. The first-term Democratic congresswoman, who kicked off her re-election campaign in Queens Saturday while remarking that she "would never begrudge anyone trying to run in a primary," is facing 13 challengers—and five of them are from her own party. AOC, whom the Guardian refers to as a "leftist superstar," has inspired passionate loyalty among her fans—but she's quite divisive, even among Democrats. Three of her challengers appeared on Fox & Friends Monday, including one Democratic challenger who said that she's a socialist Democrat but that the people in her district aren't socialists. All three took her to task for not spending enough time in her district. But the Guardian talked to her constituents on the street, and found that most were supportive of AOC.

"Give her a chance! We knew who she was when we sent her, that she’d make a noise, and making a noise was why we sent her," said one, hearkening back two years to when AOC unseated the Democratic incumbent. "She’s done good things for the Bronx," argued another. The Guardian also notes that some of AOC's challengers appear to be running in a mostly symbolic fashion, as they have little fundraising power and likely won't even get the 4,000 signatures needed to appear on the ballot. The Republican challengers likely don't stand a chance in the general election, considering AOC won the solidly blue district by 78% in 2018. The paper pegs former CNBC anchor and author Michelle Caruso-Cabrera as AOC's most significant Democratic challenger so far. "Caruso-Cabrero is as wild a card as AOC was two years ago," says one strategist. (Read more Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stories.)

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