April 14, 2020 By Allie Griffin
A former CNBC anchor and Sunnyside resident Michelle Caruso-Cabrera has raised approximately $1 million in campaign funds to take on liberal congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for the NY-14 seat.
Caruso-Cabrera will report $800,000 for the first quarter ending March 31 — after expenses — tomorrow, according to her campaign office. The former journalist hopes to beat Ocasio-Cortez in a crowded June 23 Democratic primary and is running as a moderate.
She said that that her large campaign chest reflects the level of support she has received from the public.
“Before Coronavirus people were stopping me on the street showing their excitement. And from the beginning the countless handwritten letters from near and far from across the country have been so moving,” Caruso-Cabrera said. “The national and local messages are clear: I will unite. AOC’s reign of division will end.”
Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign said it would be releasing her first quarter fundraising numbers tomorrow, on the filing deadline. She had $2.9 million on hand at the end of 2019, according to a spokesperson.
The congresswoman stopped raising campaign funds after the outbreak of COVID-19 and focused on bringing in money to local organizations. She has helped raise nearly $200,000 for community groups as of Friday, a campaign spokesperson said.
However, Caruso-Cabrera has been critical of Ocasio-Cortez, alleging that she has not being responsive to her constituents since the outbreak began. She accused Ocasio-Cortez of living large in her D.C. apartment for 10 days earlier this month, while Queens and Bronx residents dealt with the crisis.
Why was @AOC living in luxury for more than a week while people in the Bronx & Queens are dying and losing their jobs? Congress hasn’t been in session for a week – why was she there? To shop at Whole Foods in her lobby while we wait in lines? https://t.co/zaIIuynNEY
— Michelle Caruso-Cabrera (@MCaruso_Cabrera) April 3, 2020
“For weeks families have been worried about where they are going to get their next paycheck,” Caruso-Cabrera said in a statement on April 4. “AOC hasn’t been here to see their desperation and their struggle to survive. Why is she in DC when Congress isn’t in session?”
Ocasio-Cortez has been back and forth between the district and DC. On Friday, she was delivering meals to residents of LeFrak City, which was posted to Instagram.
She has also hosted several virtual town halls addressing COVID-19. Her virtual meeting have addressed topics such as how people can get unemployment insurance and what loan/grant packages are available to small businesses. She also spoke about the stimulus package at a virtual meeting held by Queens Community Board 2.
Nevertheless, Caruso-Cabrera said New Yorkers want a more moderate candidate that Ocasio-Cortez.
“The tide in this country has turned dramatically toward moderates like Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senator Chuck Schumer, and Vice President Joe Biden who know how to lead, and against Democratic Socialists like AOC and Bernie Sanders who only understand extremist politics,” Caruso-Cabrera said in a release.
“Here in NY-14, I am the only candidate emphasizing cooperation, conciliation, getting things done and getting results for the Bronx and Queens at this time of great uncertainty.”
Caruso-Cabrera is one of at least six candidates running in the Democratic primary.