New York progressive Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez comfortably secures second term in US Congress

Her challenger, John Cummings, had collected $10 million but Ocasio-Cortez still scored an easy win, creating speculation about her future political ambitions

Agence France-Presse November 04, 2020 14:38:07 IST
New York progressive Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez comfortably secures second term in US Congress

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., speaks to members of her staff and volunteers who helped with her campaign and getting out the vote. AP

New York: New York progressive Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez comfortably secured a second term in US Congress on Tuesday with an expected win over her Republican challenger, who was outspent despite raising $10 million.

As the neck-and-neck presidential race kept American voters on edge, the quartet known as "The Squad" that includes Ocasio-Cortez posted successes for the Democratic Party's left-wing.

John Cummings, 60, hoped fundraising from conservative donors nationwide could propel him past one of the left's most popular stars.

But the former police officer and high school teacher was no match for the charismatic 31-year-old representative of parts of New York City's the Bronx and Queens.

Democratic socialist Ocasio-Cortez raised more than $17 million for her second congressional campaign, making it the second most expensive House race in the country even though her primary win all but guaranteed her House seat was safe.

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With 65 percent reporting, the congresswoman known as "AOC" led Cummings by 38 percentage points, according to The New York Times. In 2018 she won the seat by nearly 80 percent.

"Serving NY-14 and fighting for working-class families in Congress has been the greatest honor, privilege, & responsibility of my life," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.

"Thank you to the Bronx & Queens for re-electing me to the House despite the millions spent against us, & trusting me to represent you once more."

'Resilient'
Ocasio-Cortez is part of a group of like-minded congresswoman known as "The Squad," who are admired on the Left for challenging the Washington status quo.

Her three allies were set to duplicate her electoral achievement.

US media called races for Minnesota's Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, with Michigan's Rashida Tlaib also leading her Republican opponent by a wide margin.

"Our sisterhood is resilient," Omar tweeted alongside pictures of all four women as she celebrated her victory.

Pressley called her successful reelection bid a win for "our shared humanity."

"We have organized. We have mobilized. We have legislated our values," she said.

"I believe in the power of us. And we're just getting started."

Ocasio-Cortez in particular has been the target of near-constant Republican ire — while also endorsing leftists who take on members of the Democratic party's old guard.

The former organizer for Bernie Sanders — the longtime Democratic socialist senator from Vermont — rose to prominence thanks to her relaxed social media personality and willingness to shake things up on Capitol Hill.

She's been floated as a potential future challenger to New York's Democratic Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, or a primary opponent against New York's centrist Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2022.

Many of her supporters have also urged Ocasio-Cortez to consider a presidential run. Her first year of eligibility for the White House — the minimum age is 35 — would be in 2024.

But she's been cautious to make promises concerning her political future.

"I don't want to aspire to a quote-unquote higher position just for the sake of that title or just for the sake of having a different or higher position," she told Vanity Fair for a recent cover story.

"I truly make an assessment to see if I can be more effective."

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