June 25, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez
New York’s primary congressional elections have at last arrived, where Rep. Joe Crowley and progressive candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will vie to represent the state’s 14th congressional district for the U.S. House of Representatives tomorrow.
While the primary elections will see candidates battle it out for eight congressional districts, the fight to represent the 14th, which covers Woodside, Sunnyside, Jackson Heights, and parts of Astoria and the Bronx, has perhaps been the most buzzed-about, as it marks the first time Crowley will face a primary challenger in 14 years.
Crowley, a 10-term representative considered by many to be one of the most powerful Democrats in Congress, is up against 28-year-old Ocasio-Cortez, a third-generation Bronxite and first-time political candidate running a steadfast grassroots campaign.
Ocasio-Cortez’ campaign has focused on denouncing machine, establishment politics and portraying Crowley as “bankrolled by corporations”. She offers instead a new direction for the party in the form of a progressive agenda that includes expanding Medicare-for-All, housing as a human right, and abolishing ICE.
She has also led a campaign without funds from corporate PACS and lobbyists, a choice she says allows her to better put the needs of working class families first.
“For too long, we have allowed Democrats to settle for rising rents, pricey healthcare, and underfunded education,” reads her candidate statement. “In the wealthiest nation in the world, it shouldn’t take 100 years to accomplish great things for working families—it takes political courage.”
Crowley’s campaign has focused on his track record and near two-decade experience representing the district in Washington, especially in his recent fight against President Trump. His top issues are expanding healthcare, equality, and immigration reform.
“I want every New Yorker to have a better, more just future where every family has the ability to secure a quality education that will lead to a well-paying job, the chance to save money to ensure a secure retirement, and help their children afford college,” part of his candidate statement reads.
He has also largely refuted criticism raised by Ocasio-Cortez on topics ranging from his donors, political connections and stances, and connection to his constituents.
The two have debated in person on Spectrum News NY1 and just last week in Jackson Heights. Crowley, however, has received heavy criticism for not showing up to two debates, with the New York Times editorial board writing a scathing response to his decision to send a former City Councilwoman to debate Ocasio-Cortez in the Bronx in his place.
Ocasio-Cortez has received endorsements from several left-leaning organizations, including Democracy for America and MoveOn. She was also endorsed by Cynthia Nixon, the Democratic candidate for New York governor.
Crowley has received endorsement from several Democratic establishment leaders and groups, including Governor Cuomo and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer. Groups in support include Planned Parenthood, the Sierra Club, and the New York State Immigrant Action Fund.
Campaign fundraising records as of June 6 show about $2.5 million received in contributions for Crowley, with roughly $301,000 raised for Ocasio-Cortez.
Polls are open tomorrow from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Only registered Democrats can vote in the June 26 primary.
Click here to find a voting location