Just over a week ago, Nancy Pelosi said a glass of water with a D on it could have beaten Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to represent NY in Congress. Now three possible Republican candidates are planning to limit her to one term in office, with the help of a mystery multimillionaire donor, a wealthy New Yorker committed to backing an Ocasio-Cortez opponent.
“There’s definitely national energy and money on this race,” Bronx Republican chairman Mike Rendino told the New York Post. He added that the mystery donor is, ““worth over $200 million, plus (has) connections to raise money in Manhattan.”
The three potential candidates, Ruth Papazian, John Cummings, and Rich Valdes all agree that Ocasio-Cortez has neglected the people in her district, citing it took the congresswoman two months to open a district office in Queens. “She completely ignores the people in this district,” Papazian told The Post during an interview. “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, an immigrant from Egypt since 1956, still lives in the Bronx with her 86-year-old mother in the same apartment she grew up in. The 61-year-old medical writer is the only Republican who has officially declared she is running against AOC, and has spoken to former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewondowski, and says she has his support if she shows she can raise the money for a serious campaign. She has yet to set up a funding website for her campaign.
Another potential contender is former NYPD officer, John Cummings. Cummings, currently teaches US Government at a boys’ school. Cummings said the congresswoman neglects local issues, such as tractor trailer drivers who use Pelham Bay Park as a rest stop.
“I know it’s a difficult road because this is a heavily Democratic district,” said Cummings, who also noted, “She’s only interested in a national platform, and we need local representation.”
The third person investigating a possible run is Rich Valdes, a radio producer and staffer for former NJ Gov. Chris Christie, quipped that Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s initials could stand for “ambition over constituents.”
“They’re really, really kind of discouraged at the fact that she 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,” Valdes said.
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s spokesperson, Corbin Trent responded to those saying she lacked a local presence with, “The reason she has the support of the people in the district is they realize the work she’s doing at a national level is tying back to the district — Medicare for all, the Green New Deal, all these priorities.”
But others in her district who are becoming disenchanted with her outspokenness and say she is not spending enough time solving local issues and has done a poor job at delivering promises. They have complained that “her heart is not in the Bronx.”
Said local activist Roxanne Delgado, “I thought AOC would be our savior, but that’s not the case.”