Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., started a civil war within the Democratic Party last week — but she didn’t anticipate the establishment would bite back.
On Wednesday, Ocasio-Cortez learned her re-election was being challenged by another Democrat.
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And the news completely ruined her weekend.
Badrun Kahn, the daughter of Bengali immigrants, formally launched a 2020 Democratic primary challenge against Ocasio-Cortez last week. She promises “REAL Results… Not Empty Promises.”
Kahn said on Thursday she’ll win because she lives in reality — while Ocasio-Cortez is too much of a Hollywood celebrity that can’t deliver on her promises.
A local activist, Kahn describes herself as an activist that has “spent her entire life fighting for justice, equality, and fairness in her community.”
Ocasio-Cortez responded to Khan’s candidacy directly on Wednesday, saying: “I just focus on delivering for my district and doing the best job. I try not to focus too much on other folks in the field.”
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However, reportedly spent the weekend sulking and complaining about her party. She told an interviewer that politics was unfair, that Democratic leadership picked on her, and that no one in D.C. liked her.
In an interview with The New York Times, Ocasio-Cortez said she wanted to run “a platform for divisive, outsider brand of politics,” but has been forced by fellow Democratic leadership into “a careful political calculus that adheres more closely to the unwritten rules of Washington she once disdained.”
“In many ways, I feel like I walk around with a scarlet letter because many members who just have any primary, whether I know about it or not, tend to project that onto me,” she said.
This isn’t the first time Ocasio-Cortez has complained about the unfairness of her job.
In July, Ocasio-Cortez claimed she was being given an unfair amount of work by House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
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“I was assigned to two of some of the busiest committees and four subcommittees,” she said, implying her assignments were because Pelosi was mean. “So my hands are full — and sometimes I wonder if they’re trying to keep me busy.”
Kahn’s challenge to Ocasio-Cortez isn’t an idle threat, experts say. The far-left New Yorker is vulnerable in the 2020 election.
According to Fox News, Democrats are split in Ocasio-Cortez’s district on whether the far-left politican is worth re-electing.
When asked whether they’d support a primary challenger to Ocasio-Cortez, 26 percent of Democrats in New York City’s 14th district said they would, and 31 percent said they were undecided.
Only 43 percent of Ocasio-Cortez’ core base said they were unlikely to support a Democratic primary challenger.
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Not only does she have to win her primary, but Republicans are also lining up to take on Ocasio-Cortez in the general election. So far, eight conservatives have filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to run against AOC.
“She’s fired everyone up,” Rey Solano, one of her Republican challengers, told Politico. “She’s really annoyed a lot of people.”
“The standard-bearer of socialism in America is in [the 14th congressional district],” Ruth Papazian, another conservative challenger, said. “If you’re going to stop the spread of socialism, and especially the encroachment of socialism throughout the outer boroughs, you have to stop AOC.”