As Her Party Scrambles For Unity, Rising Star Ocasio-Cortez Seeks To Oust Another Legacy Democrat

REUTERS/David 'Dee' Delgado

Virginia Kruta Associate Editor
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Socialist darling Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is leveraging her newly acquired political capital to weigh in on other congressional races around the country — and her own party may take issue with the races she is choosing to influence.

On July 21, Ocasio-Cortez will attend two events for Democrat Cori Bush (location and time to be determined), a registered nurse and an ordained minister. Bush also happens to be running in the primary for Missouri’s 1st Congressional District against Democratic seven-term incumbent Rep. William “Lacy” Clay Jr.

Bush has also earned the endorsement of Brand New Congress, a PAC started by staffers from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2016 campaign.

In a tumultuous election year where every seat in every chamber matters, it may not sit well with the ranking members of her party that Ocasio-Cortez is so willing to undermine well-established Democrats in favor of unknown quantities.

Much like New York’s 14th district, which Ocasio-Cortez wrested from 10-term incumbent — and potential House leader — Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley, Missouri District 1 is solidly Democratic and in no danger of being flipped. Clay Jr. has held the seat since 2001 — never earning less than 70 percent of the vote.

From 1969-2001, the seat had belonged to his father, Democrat William “Bill” Lacy Clay Sr, and the seat has not been occupied by a Republican since Samuel W. Arnold, who left office in 1949.

Ocasio-Cortez, a Democratic Socialist from the Bronx, has clearly decided to use her newfound fame to promote others who share her views, even if it means upsetting her party from the inside.