Democrats around the Bronx are still picking up their own proverbial jaws after Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stunned the political world with her upset victory over 10-term incumbent Congressman Joe Crowley.
The election left many speechless, including Congressman Eliot Engel and Councilmember Ritchie Torres, whom both had no comment when asked about Ocasio-Cortez’ affect to establishment Democrats.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the East River in Queens on that fateful Tuesday night, Crowley faced the music that his political career was for the time being on hold, by signing tunes to his supporters, while strumming his guitar.
Crowley later released a statement congratulating Ocasio-Cortez, stating, “ I look forward to supporting her and all Democrats this November…This is why we must come together. We will only be able to stop Donald Trump and the Republican Congress by working together as a united Democratic Party.”
As far as coming together goes, Senator Luis Sepulveda, whom had supported Crowley, speedily worked his way over to the Ocasio-Cortez victory party in Parkchester to congratulate the democratic-socialist on making history.
“This 28-year-old novice’s unique campaign, reaching out with social media across a wide demographic audience with her progressive platform, created a new political lesson for the books. As a dedicated progressive, I am pleased that my agenda of social reform and equality so closely reflects her own agenda,” said Sepulveda, who just like Ocasio-Cortez, supported Bernie Sanders during his White House bid in 2016.
While Sepulveda is unsure if Ocasio-Cortez is interested in joining the Bronx Democratic Party, he does want to bring the establishment and progressive sides of the Democratic Party together.
“There has to be an effort on both sides, we should work beyond labels here, sitting down and having a fair and open discussion because at the end of the day you will see that the two movements do have a lot in common,” Sepulveda said.
Ocasio-Cortez turned to said powerhouse social media presence as an alternative to major advertisements that were out of her campaign’s miniscule budget.
Despite being outspent 18 to 1 per vote by Crowley, her innovative, ‘community run’ campaign did the job.
Ocasio-Cortez’ stunning upset has attracted the attention of national media.
Her campaign narrative of being a ‘Bronx girl’ is being challenged by many news outlets.
At the age of 4 her family moved to Westchester County. Her father, an architect, purchased a modest home in Yorktown Heights, and its clear that Ocasio-Cortez graduated from Yorktown Heights High School.
She attended Boston University, where she had the opportunity to do humanitarian work in West Africa. She also interned for late Senator Ted Kennedy.
It wasn’t until she was 26 that Ocasio-Cortez made her return to the Bronx.
In response to those questioning her credentials as a socialist, she shot back on Twitter “Growing up, it was a good town for working people. My mom scrubbed toilets so I could live here & I grew up seeing how the zip code one is born in determines much of their opportunity.”
“I chose to move back to the Bronx,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
She bartended and waited tables after her father’s death during late 2000s. A former co-worker charged her with gloaming tips at a Cinco de Mayo party at the bar she worked at in 2017, Flats Fix, according to a report in the NY Post.
Come this November, Ocasio-Cortez will face 71-year-old Republican candidate Anthony Pappas in the general election.