A couple of weeks ago, John Sexton looked at the relatively underreported story of Julia Salazar and the political campaign she’s running in New York. I realize that this is a state senate race, so it normally wouldn’t merit all that much attention, but the parallels between Salazar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are hard to overlook. Salazar pitches the same brand of Democratic Socialism as her New York colleague and she’s got that “ready for TV” look which makes for great advertisements. And again, much like Ocasio-Cortez, she’s got that compelling life story which speaks to diversity, struggle and the promise of America for aspiring immigrants. It’s that last bit which is problematic, as John pointed out when he talked about her “curiously shifting” background story. Many of the claims she made regarding her upbringing, her religion, her family”s economic struggles and even her place of birth have been called into question.
Now, in a new interview with New York magazine City & State, Salazar’s brother Alex and her own mother are calling her out for this fictional life she claims to have led, clearly implying that she’s bringing discredit on her family. (Free Beacon)
The brother and mother of a New York City democratic socialist candidate went on the record to dispute many of the biographical claims she has made throughout the campaign…
Contrary to Salazar’s claim that “my mom ended up raising my brother and me as a single mom, without a college degree and from a working-class background,” her brother says they lived comfortably and their father made six-figures as a pilot and continued to pay child support following their divorce.
“We were very much middle class. We had a house in Jupiter along the river, it was in a beautiful neighborhood,” he said.
Julia, in response, said since her parents separated when she was six, there were two years that she lived only with her mother before Christine Salazar graduated from college.
So the Salazar family clearly wasn’t living in a mansion in a gated community, but they also weren’t on the verge of homelessness in a broken family. Her sibling and mother paint a picture of a very middle class and relatively content life. As to her claims that she was raised by “a single mom who didn’t have a college degree,” the single mom in question denies it. She finished college later than most but had her degree by the time Julia was eight.
Salazar has also claimed that she was forced to go to work in a grocery store because the family was so poor they couldn’t make ends meet. Her mother disputes that as well, saying she “encouraged her children to work to build character and because they didn’t get an allowance, not out of necessity.” The candidate also claimed to have been born in Colombia, later becoming a naturalized citizen and had to “move back and forth between Colombia and Miami several times.” The woman who actually delivered her into this world specifically remembers giving birth to her in Florida. And while they visited family in Columbia a few times over the years, they never moved back to live there.
As to her family having to deal with “immigration issues” because of not being citizens, mom reports that every member of the family was a U.S. citizen by the time Julia was born. She never had to cope with any of those issues. And this is her own mother and brother going to the press to shoot down her stories.
Will any of this have any impact on her election prospects? Tough to say. This material isn’t getting all that much play in the local press so many of the voters in that senate district might not even know about it. And even if they do, will the local Democrats care? Julia Salazar has one of those life stories which just tugs at your heartstrings and she checks off most of the Democrats’ demographic boxes. Why let a little thing like reality spoil all the good times?