After The Hill reported that some of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-N.Y.) fellow House Democrats were already working to recruit a primary challenger to her 2020 campaign—just four weeks into her first term—the congresswoman sought to find out whether her supporters planned to back her in the next election. They responded with a clear “yes.”
Just four days after the plan was reported, Ocasio-Cortez’s re-election campaign had raised more than $105,000 after a brief fundraising effort, to be added to the $400,000 she had on hand after the 2018 election.
“It was a good opportunity for us to see what the base was willing to do and if they were going to stand by her in the event of a primary challenge,” Corbin Trent, Ocasio-Cortez’s communications director, told the Huffington Post. “It was a resounding: ‘Yes, they will.’”
The congresswoman, who does not accept corporate donations and raised $1.2 million in small individual contributions in 2018, posted ads on Instagram and Facebook this week telling her supporters that some Democrats “don’t like that we’re shaking things up in D.C.”
The anonymous Democrat who spoke to The Hill suggested that Ocasio-Cortez should step aside and allow “numerous council people and state legislators who’ve been waiting 20 years” to serve in Congress to take her seat, which she won after her surprise primary victory against 10-term Congressman Joe Crowley.
As Common Dreams reported, Ocasio-Cortez blamed a “broken mentality, that public office is something you wait in line for” for the comments, but said she would welcome a challenge in November 2020.
“In the meantime, we’re going to be doing our dead-level best to make sure we are representing the needs and the will of our constituents,” Trent told The Hill.