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Former police officer vying to challenge AOC for House seat scores key endorsement

(File Photo: screenshot)

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will be facing a number of Republicans challenging her for her New York City district and one of them just got a major endorsement.

Retired Harbor Unit officer John Cummings was inspired to run for the very Democratic 14th Congressional District by Ocasio-Cortez and now has the Bronx Conservative Party backing him, the New York Post reported.

The 59-year-old former police officer and civics teacher at Saint Raymond High School was born and raised in the district, unlike the Democratic socialist freshman who won against long-term Congressman Joe Crowley.

“This decision was a no-brainer for us,” Bill Newmark, chair of the Bronx Conservative Party, said.

“He is a lifelong conservative and is with us on the issues that matter,” he added. “The future of the republic is at stake and our number one priority as Bronx Conservatives is to beat AOC and stop the scourge of socialism that she represents.”

Cummings also has the support of the Bronx County Republican Party, although, according to Chairman Mike Rendino, no official endorsement has been made as Cummings is being considered from a group of five candidates seeking the party’s nomination.

(Image: Fox News screenshot)

Though Cummings, and any Republican, is considered a long shot in the New York district that went to Hillary Clinton by nearly 58 points in 2016, the former cop is seen by many to be a strong alternative to the 30-year-old former bartender who has been criticized for not connecting with her constituents.

According to Federal Election Commission filings this summer, nearly all of the reported contributors to Ocasio-Cortez’s reelection campaign are from outside of her congressional district – with just 10 people living in her district contributing in the first half of this year.

The congresswoman also came under fire by New Yorkers last year after she launched a war against Amazon which was planning to open another headquarters in New York City. After protests from the left and attacks from Ocasio-Cortez about the $3 billion in state and local subsidies the company was being offered, Amazon backed out of the deal that would have brought 25,000 jobs to the city.

“I’m a constituent in District 14. I think that can transcend party. I’m not in this for any other reason than to make sure we have adequate representation in the district,” Cummings told the New York Post this summer as he set out in his quest to unseat the Democrat.

He referred to himself as a “small-government guy” and promised to run his campaign based on freedom of choice in education, improving infrastructure and a free-market economy.

Cummings is joined by other conservatives challenging Ocasio-Cortez, including New York businesswoman and Jamaican immigrant, Scherie Murray, and journalist Ruth Papazian, the daughter of Egyptian immigrants. Cummings is currently leading his GOP challengers in primary fundraising, although falls far short of money behind the freshman Dem, according to the Post. The lastest endorsement will certainly help seal his chances to take on Ocasio-Cortez in an election.

“I think this transcends party,” Cummings told Fox News in July. “I think people are really interested in local representation and that’s something that we’ve seriously lacked in that district for a long time.”

Frieda Powers

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