AOC emerges victorious in NY-14 race for a third time

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made quick work of her Republican challenger Tuesday night, winning reelection to a third term in Congress.
File photo

Bronx and Queens voters turned out for Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Tuesday — sending one of the country’s most polarizing politicians back to the House Chamber for her third term.  

When her election was called shortly after the polls closed Tuesday night, Ocasio-Cortez thanked her supporters on Twitter, saying that she remains “grateful to all of you who make a new kind of governance possible.” 

Wednesday morning she also shouted out her staffers on Twitter. 

“Thank you to all the campaign organizers, volunteers, staff, small dollar donors, grassroots candidates, and voters who worked so hard for a better future last night,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote. “Campaigning is relentless, all-encompassing work. None of this happens without you. You are so appreciated.” 

When asked for comment Wednesday, a spokesperson with the Ocasio-Cortez campaign said there was nothing to add to the congressmember’s Tweet from election night.  

Unofficial results from the New York State Board of Elections on Wednesday afternoon showed Ocasio-Cortez won the 14th Congressional District by a wide margin — scoring approximately 67% of the vote over her Republican challenger Tina Forte’s 26%. Desi Cuellar, who Forte beat in a Republican primary, ran on the Conservative ballot line Tuesday and finished with less than 2% of the vote. 

The congressmember was a relative unknown when she first ran for office in the 2018 midterm election, winning the NY-14 seat against longtime Democratic incumbent Joe Crowley, a member of the House leadership team, in a shocking upset. According to reporting by Vox, Crowley had been the District 14 representative since 1999 — when Ocasio-Cortez was just 10 years old — and had fundraised nearly $3 million for the 2018 Congressional race.

Congressional candidate Tina Forte speaks in opposition to the Orchard Beach migrant shelter during a demonstration at the construction site on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022.
Congressional candidate Tina Forte speaks in opposition to the Orchard Beach migrant shelter during a demonstration at the construction site on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022. Photo Adrian Childress

A self-described Democratic Socialist, Ocasio-Cortez’s key platform issues include Medicare for All, housing, public safety, immigration, affordable public education, and disaster recovery for Puerto Rico. She has fostered a strong base from supporters both at local town halls and across the country on social media, but has also drawn criticism from her fair share of moderate Democrats and conservatives for being too progressive.

Forte, who went on the offensive in her matchup with Ocasio-Cortez, ran on a more conservative ticket — campaigning to stop “radical socialists from destroying the American dream.” 

A Throggs Neck resident who prides herself on not being a “polished politician” and who was part of the “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6, Forte said in campaign ads that she ran for Congress because she’s “had enough” of the Ocasio-Cortez agenda.

The challenger has said she supports congressional term limits, banning congress members and their immediate families from trading stocks, and balancing the country’s budget. Forte has also used local issues — such as the failed Orchard Beach migrant shelter in the Bronx — as popular conservative talking points.

As of early afternoon on Wednesday, the Republican hadn’t formally conceded her NY-14 Congressional race on Instagram, although she had posted a message thanking her supporters. 

“You stood with me. You believed in me,” she wrote. “Freedom is worth fighting for — and our fight has just begun. We have more work to do, and a country to save.”

The Forte campaign had not responded to a request for comment by Wednesday afternoon.

For more midterm election coverage visit bxtimes.com.

Reach Camille Botello at [email protected] and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @bronxtimes.        

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