Oct. 14, 2019 By Allie Griffin
A longtime city councilman and self-proclaimed “centrist” from the Bronx will challenge Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the democratic primary, according to reports.
Council Member Fernando Cabrera has told several outlets that he will run against Ocasio-Cortez for her Congressional District 14 seat, which includes parts of the east Bronx and Northwest Queens, including Jackson Heights, Sunnyside and parts of Astoria.
The council member told the New York Post he vows to run as the “pro-capitalist, pro-Amazon” alternative to the liberal Ocasio-Cortez, whom he denounced for being too socialist.
“AOC has brought nothing to the district — not one job. She cost the city 25,000 jobs by opposing the Amazon headquarters and $27 billion in revenues,” Cabrera told The Post.
The proposed Amazon site is in Long Island City outside the 14th Congressional district.
Cabrera told the New York Daily News that the Democratic freshman is out of touch with her district.
“We have a congresswoman that is literally steering us in the wrong direction,” Cabrera told the Daily News. “The district needs someone that’s going to be present, that’s going to attend to quality-of-life issues that are so pertinent to that district, someone that’s going to equally represent the Bronx and Queens together, who’s not going to run more jobs out of New York City.”
Following Cabrera’s comments yesterday, AOC’s campaign sent an email to supporters with the subject line “AOC’s Democratic Challenger.” Though the email didn’t mention Cabrera by name, it said “our opponent” would be “more than willing to raise huge dollars from wealthy donors, take special interest PAC money, and pander to corporate giants like Amazon.”
“Ever since we defeated Joe Crowley, corporate Democrats have been waiting for their chance to strike back,” the email noted. “Our opponent doesn’t play by the same rulebook we do.”
Cabrera, 55, was born in the Bronx to a Puerto Rican mother and a Dominican father and has represented City Council District 14 in the Bronx since 2010. He lives in Fordham, which is about a mile outside the 14th Congressional District.
He is also the senior pastor at a nondenominational church, New Life Church, in the Bronx and is known for his socially conservative views.
The pastor/councilman told the Post that he personally opposes gay marriage and abortion, but said they are the law of the land and won’t be big issues in the primary.
Cabrera repeatedly has repeatedly called socialism a failure and said it “destroys the middle class.”
While the council member has represented the Bronx for nearly a decade, he will have to win over Queens voters in a borough where he is less known.
When the Daily News asked what he’d do to win them over, Cabrera said, “I’ve done more for this city than she ever has. I’m known. People know the work that I have done. “
Other challengers to Ocasio-Cortez in 2020 include Republicans Scherie Murray and John Cummings.
Meanwhile, Badrun Khan from Queens plans to challenge Ocasio-Cortez in the primary.