Jamaican Immigrant Announces Challenge to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

A legal immigrant from Jamaica announced that she is challenging Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) in the 2020 election.

Scherie Murray said in a video announcement that she has been building bridges for years as a businesswoman who helps minority men and women get jobs and as a community leader.

“I’ve built bridges between constituents in our community and elected officials that represent them. Between different nationalities and races, and between political parties,” she said.

“Lawmakers should be working together to build a stronger, safer, more prosperous America—but your representative in Washington chooses self-promotion over service, conflict over constituents, resistance over assistance.”

“Queens and the Bronx need someone who will create jobs instead of turning them away,” she added, referring to Ocasio-Cortez’s role in the fight against Amazon’s planned headquarters in the city.

Murray, 38, who said she was 9 when she and her family migrated from the Caribbean, told Fox News that she’s running as a Republican and that she supports Trump.

“There is a crisis in Queens, and it’s called AOC,” Murray told Fox News. “And instead of focusing on us, she’s focusing on being famous. Mainly rolling back progress and authoring the job-killing Green New Deal and killing the Amazon New York deal.”

Murray said Ocasio-Cortez’s open support for socialism “is far, far to the left and it is not connecting with everyday Americans.”

“Medicare-for-all, I think a lot of people are happy with their current health insurance,” she said, before saying the Green New Deal, a widespread proposal that Democrats say would combat climate change, would “certainly kill jobs.”

Murray is the fifth Republican to announce she’s running against Ocasio-Cortez, joining John Commings, a former police officer, medical journalist Ruth Papazian, Miguel Hernandez, a construction contractor, and entrepreneur Antoine Tucker. Rich Valdes, a conservative radio producer, has also said he plans to run.

No Democrats have announced a primary challenge to Ocasio-Cortez as of yet.

The freshman lawmaker stunned Democrats when she beat longtime incumbent Joseph Crowley in the Democratic Primary for the House seat representing New York’s 14th District. Ocasio-Cortez received about 17,000 votes to Crowley’s 12,880.

NTD Photo
Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY) talks to reporters as he arrives for a House Democratic caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Feb. 8, 2018. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

She then went on to win the general election, garnering over 110,000 votes. Republican challenger Anthony Pappas got 19,202 and Crowley received 9,348 as an independent.

A majority of voters polled in recent months said they would not vote to reelect Ocasio-Cortez, according to a door-to-door survey of 2,261 homes.

The survey, conducted from April 29 to June 7 by Stop the AOC PAC, found that only 13 percent of voters in Ocasio-Cortez’s district would vote for her reelection. At the same time, 33 percent of constituents said they were “ready to vote against her.”

The freshman congresswoman had a favorability rating of 21 percent, with less than 11 percent believing she had their best interests in mind when she quashed the Amazon deal.

NTD Photo
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) holds up a paper with names of asylum-seekers written on it in Washington on July 12, 2019. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

Another key finding was that 42 percent of her constituents were unfamiliar with her name, “despite her enormous media coverage and Twitter presence,” the pollsters said.

A major point of disagreement constituents had with the congresswoman was the scrapping of the Amazon HQ deal. The survey found that only 9 percent were opposed to the deal, which would have brought in thousands of new jobs to the New York area. Thirty-three percent believed Ocasio-Cortez did not have their best interests in mind in regard to the Amazon deal.

“Facing an electorate more concerned with results than retweets, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez has problems in her backyard,” the pollsters said.

“Despite her online notoriety and fandom in the national new progressive movement, the citizens of New York District 14 want a representative aligned with their values. It’s clear Rep. Ocasio-Cortez is not the model for hope and change she sold herself to be. The opportunity for a new voice is prevalent, and the electorate is ready to take action in 2020.”

Epoch Times reporter Bowen Xiao contributed to this report.