After Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stunned 20-year incumbent Congressman Joe Crowley in the June 26 Democratic primary, the lawmaker was quick to announce his support for her as the next representative of the 14th Congressional District covering Queens and The Bronx.
But three weeks after the political earthquake, Ocasio-Cortez claimed on Twitter on Thursday morning that Crowley had not only declined to directly concede to her, but also that he was mounting a challenge to her on the Working Families Party line. Crowley was quick to refute both charges.
Ocasio-Cortez made the statement in referencing a July 11 New York Times article about third-party candidacies in New York state, and their impact on primary and general elections. In addition to winning the Democratic primary on June 26, she also won the Reform Party line in the 15th Congressional District located in the Bronx and Westchester counties.
Even so, Ocasio-Cortez did not seek the nomination for the 15th District for any political party, and despite being flattered by the write-in win, she quickly turned the Reform Party nomination down.
“Shockingly — and I’m told this is not a joke — we have ALSO won a primary in the neighboring 15th Congressional District via write-in campaign on the Reform line,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on July 10 while sharing the New York Daily News article about her apparent Reform Party line win. “While I am honored that so many Bronxites are excited about our campaign, I will remain the Dem nominee for NY-14.”
Although she turned down the Reform Party line in the 15th District race, the New York Times article noted that Crowley remains on the Working Families Party line in the 14th District race that Ocasio-Cortez won. Moreover, Working Families Party State Director Bill Lipton told the Times that Crowley’s campaign declined the party’s request that Crowley vacate their line.
While sharing the Times article on July 12, Ocasio-Cortez seemed to conclude that Crowley’s apparent refusal to drop off of the Working Families line was an indication that he remains a challenger to her candidacy.
“@repjoecrowley stated on live TV that he would absolutely support my candidacy. Instead, he’s stood me up for all 3 scheduled concession calls,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “Now, he’s mounting a 3rd party challenge against me and the Democratic Party – and against the will of @NYWFP.”
“So much for ‘Born to Run,'” she added in a follow-up tweet, referencing the Bruce Springsteen song that Crowley publicly played in her honor on primary night after conceding defeat.
Less than an hour later, Crowley took to Twitter (through his campaign account) to insist that he supported Ocasio-Cortez, but admonished her for going public with complaints.
“Alexandria, the race is over and Democrats need to come together. I’ve made my support for you clear and the fact that I’m not running,” Crowley tweeted. “We’ve scheduled phone calls and your team has not followed through. I’d like to connect but I’m not willing to air grievances on Twitter.”
Addressing his continued place on the Working Families line, Crowley claimed on Twitter that he wouldn’t campaign on the line, but he can’t detach himself from it that easily.
“Lots questions about WFP line. Was honored to have their support. I’m not running,” he tweeted. “For record you can only be removed from the ballot if 1) you move out of NY; 2) die; 3) be convicted of a crime; 4) accept a nomination for another office (in a place I don’t live).”
This statement is in line with existing state election laws which regulate political party balloting and nominating processes.
“I don’t plan on moving out of New York, have a clean record, hope God’s will is that I don’t die, and won’t commit what I honestly believe to be election fraud,” Crowley added.
QNS reached out to the Working Families Party for further comment about the situation and is awaiting a response.
Ocasio-Cortez, the Democratic nominee for the 14th Congressional District, will face Republican nominee Anthony Pappas in the Nov. 6 general election.