It was just the other day that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said a glass of water could win in Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ (D-N.Y.) solidly blue district as long as it ran as a Democrat.
Now three Republicans and a very wealthy mystery donor are working to change that.
According to Fox News, Bronx Republican Chairman Mike Rendino said the anonymous donor is “worth over $200 million, plus [has] connections to raise money in Manhattan.” Their goal, to offer Republican candidates the resources they need to defeat her in 2020.
“We need to put individuals forward and make the incumbent work for re-election,” said former Gov. George Pataki aide Tom Doherty, according to the New York Post.
One of those individuals is 61-year-old Egyptian-American journalist Ruth Papazian. Unlike Ocasio-Cortez, she has lived in the Bronx her entire life and takes care of her immigrant mother in the same apartment she grew up in. And she thinks AOC’s plans will bring serious harm.
“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,” Papazian explained.
She’s already gotten some campaign help from Corey Lewandoski, Trump’s former 2016 campaign manager.
Another Republican considering a run against AOC is former NYPD Officer John Cummings, who now teaches a U.S. government class at a Bronx high school.
“I know it’s a difficult road because this is a heavily Democratic district,” Cummings, 58, acknowledged, but he added, “She’s only interested in a national platform, and we need local representation.”
A third person looking at running is 40-year-old radio talk show producer Rich Valdes. Valdes produces the nationally syndicated conservative “Mark Levin Show.’
He pointed out something similar to Cummings, explaining that Bronx and Queens Republicans he’s met with say “they’re really, really kind of discouraged at the fact that [Ocasio-Cortez] 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.”
Like Ocasio-Cortez, Valdes has Puerto Rican heritage but says his politics are very different.