GOP Albanian immigrant who escaped communism files to run against Schumer

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A man who immigrated to the U.S. from then-communist Albania has filed to run against Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York ahead of next year’s midterm elections.

In an interview with the New York Post, GOP contender Aleksander Mici said that as Schumer voted in the past to raise taxes, “I was suffering, like, millions of Albanians, under a tyrannical communist dictatorship and struggling to make it to America.”

“And now almost three decades later, the past is prologue: under Chuck Schumer’s leadership, Democrats are still doing everything in their power to raise costs on everything, while everyday Americans struggle,” said Mici, a Bronx resident, who formally launches his campaign on Thursday.

Despite his story, former U.S. Sen. Alphonse D’Amato (R-N.Y.), whom Schumer defeated in a hard-fought 1998 race, said that Mici is facing long odds to unseat the powerful Democratic Senate leader who is running for a fifth term.

“Schumer is a popular, hard-working, and well-known senator. It’s a tough battle for anyone, let alone an unknown candidate,” D’Amato, who now lobbies for a living, told The Post.

“The only thing the Republicans have going for them is Joe Biden,” D’Amato added, referencing the president’s cratering approval rating.

“That will affect other down-ballot races — but not this one,” he predicted.

Mici said he left Albania in 1991 after growing up during the authoritarian Enver Hoxha, who ruled the country with an iron fist from 1944 to his death in 1985. He told The Post that the experience was the most formidable of his life and is why he loves the U.S. so much and hates socialism.

“The left’s vision for America is not the America that generations of immigrants like me fought to reach,” he told the paper.

“My Congresswoman, AOC [Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez] and my Senator, Chuck Schumer, are pushing every day to make our nation look more like the communist dictatorship I fled than like the America that has been a shining beacon of hope for generations of people yearning for freedom,” he added.

“I know firsthand how dangerous the Socialist creep into American politics will turn out to be,” Mici added.

He recounted the harrowing trip to the U.S. from his native country that he made as a teen, hopping aboard a crowded merchant ship that docked in Italy. During the journey, he said people perished from a lack of food and water, while others were murdered by gangs. Mici finally reached the United States at the young age of 15 after working menial jobs in Italy and saving his earnings.

“Enough is enough. America is worth fighting for and I can’t sit on the sidelines while out-of-touch socialists disguised as ‘progressives’ try to destroy our great nation,” the prospective GOP senator said.

“I will fight for the constitutional principles that our Founding Fathers laid out for us. I will fight for a smaller government and more freedom,” he continued.

“That is the only way that we will be able to revive our economy, restore public safety to our communities, provide quality education for our children and make Americans’ lives better,” he said.

Jon Dougherty

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