AOC draws an early 2020 challenger

While the race to be the next president pretty much begins on inauguration day in the modern era, congressional races tend to start a bit later. Yet with more than fifteen months to go, freshman congresswoman and “squad” member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has already drawn a challenger who officially launched her campaign today. Shockingly, we’re not talking about a Democrat hoping to take AOC on in the primary, but a Republican.

Scherie Murray came to America from Jamaica as a child, is a successful businesswoman and has been regularly involved in NY GOP politics. To call this a steep, uphill climb would be an understatement, but she seems well prepared and is trying to get out of the gate early. (Fox News)

Scherie Murray, a New York businesswoman who immigrated from Jamaica as a child and is active in state Republican politics, is launching a campaign Wednesday for the congressional seat held by Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Fox News has learned.

In a phone interview, Murray, 38, confirmed her intention to run for the New York congressional seat as a Republican.

“There is a crisis in Queens, and it’s called AOC,” Murray 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.”

Murray, who was born in Jamaica and moved to the United States when she was 9, is officially launching her campaign Wednesday with an introductory video that takes sharp jabs at the 29-year-old Ocasio-Cortez.

Before diving into this, let’s take a look at her launch video.

I’d like to start on a positive note here, so allow me to say that this is an exceptionally well done campaign video. The production quality is excellent, Murray is an engaging speaker and they hit all of the points that should deliver some real impact. She paints AOC as a woman more obsessed with herself and her own celebrity than her constituents. They tie her to the very unpopular Green New Deal and the loss of the new Amazon center in New York. She talks about working across party lines (always important in New York) and hits subjects with bipartisan appeal.

Of course, there’s one word that never appears in the entire video: Republican. You would be forgiven for thinking this was an advertisement for a Democrat hoping to primary AOC next year. And if she were, this sort of launch might have put her in contention early on.

There are those on social media already arguing that it might not matter. AOC’s favorability numbers nationally are underwater. One recent poll showed that she’s not even well liked in her own district. (We should note that the linked poll should be taken with a hefty salt tablet as it was kind of dodgy, but still interesting.)

But let’s not kid ourselves here. This is still New York’s 14th district. The lines have shifted quite a bit over the years, and I’ve to double-check my figures, but I don’t think a Republican has represented this particular stretch of the five boroughs since roughly World War 2. Cook rates it as D+29. I’m willing to bet there are plenty of voters there who would look at this video and definitely be interested until finding out Murray has an “R” after her name and then it’s over.

Sorry to be a Debby Downer here, but it’s just reality. If AOC is to be removed from her congressional seat next year I would bet dollars to donuts that it will be by another, less incendiary Democrat and not a Republican. I’d love to be wrong, but I highly doubt it.