Ocasio-Cortez faces formidable new 2020 challenger after desire to be famous consumes her

(Image: screenshot)

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s 2020 congressional campaign just got more challenging.

A Republican immigrant from Jamaica just stepped in as a contender to unseat the New York Democrat, launching a campaign bid Wednesday to challenge her reelection in 2020.

New York businesswoman Scherie Murray confirmed her intentions in a phone call with Fox News, calling attention to the lack of connection Ocasio-Cortez has shown to her constituents at home as she continues to make headlines in Washington, D.C.

“There is a crisis in Queens, and it’s called AOC,” the 38-year-old who was born in Jamaica 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,” she said.

A former state committeewoman of the New York State Republican Party, Murray confirmed that she supports President Donald Trump and took aim at Ocasio-Cortez in a newly released video.

“Your representative in Washington chooses self-promotion over service, conflict over constituents, resistance over assistance,” she said in the video.

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Murray, who came to the United States with her family when she was nine years old, sees herself as a bridge-builder and someone who can actively work across party lines – something she contended Ocasio-Cortez has not done.

“Queens and the Bronx need someone who will create jobs instead of turning them away. Someone to unite the fight in Washington and help you build a better future for yourself instead of pushing for a pay raise for herself,” she continued in the video.

“You deserve someone fighting for you, not fighting for the limelight,” she added over clips of Ocasio-Cortez making television appearances.

Murray, who told Fox News she is now a full-time mother, grew up in Southeast Queens. As a teenager she worked for the city’s Jamaica Bus Depot and later went on to launch a television production and advertising company. The Esemel Group, which she founded in 2004, provided employment to New York City minorities, she noted.

While no Democrats have yet announced a primary challenge to Ocasio-Cortez, Murray is not the only Republican seeking to unseat the 29-year-old former bartender who took the establishment by surprise after defeating longtime Rep. Joe Crowley in the 2018 Democratic primary. Entrepreneur Antoine Tucker, construction contractor Miguel Hernandez, medical journalist Ruth Papazian and former police officer John Cummings have all filed to challenge Oacsio-Cortez as Republicans.

(File Photo: YouTube screenshot)

Murray believes the Democratic socialism espoused by Ocasio-Cortez is not “connecting” with her constituents and average voters.

“I think it’s far, far to the left and it is not connecting with everyday Americans,” she told Fox News, criticizing some of the freshman congresswoman’s proposals such as the Green New Deal.

“We know that it certainly will kill jobs.” Murray said, commenting as well on another policy supported by the Democrat: universal health care.

“Medicare-for-all, I think a lot of people are happy with their current health insurance,” Murray observed.

She weighed in on the current controversy that has embroiled Ocasio-Cortez as she and fellow progressive colleagues have locked horns with Trump in a battle in the last few days.

“I think it’s disgusting, to be quite honest,” Murray said. “I think we are missing the point of why we’re elected to public office: to legislate on policy, to deliver results to those kitchen table issues that are affecting everyday Americans.”

She discussed the comments the president tweeted that the progressive freshmen House members should ​” go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came,” prompting an outcry that he is a racist.

“Is that how I would have worded it? No. Do I think the president is a racist? No,” Murray said. “But I want to get back to the core of why we’re even talking about this – there is a crisis at our border.”

Although Murray faces a challenge in her bid against Ocasio-Cortez in the Democratic-controlled district, she is confident that a Republican could win the congressional seat because New Yorkers are not happy with the lawmaker.

“A Republican can win the district,” she said, telling Fox News that she has been reaching out to national Republicans like South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott about her campaign.

“There is an absolute path to victory when you look at a general election campaign,” she added.

Murray was already receiving encouragement online as Twitter users applauded her decision to run, and even offered to help her campaign.

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Frieda Powers

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