New York Democratic Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has yet to be sworn into the new 2019 Congress, but she is already seeking scalps in the Democratic leadership.
The congresswoman-to-be is eyeing a primary challenger for Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, who represents New York’s 8th congressional district. According to a recent Politico report, Ocasio-Cortez is looking to recruit and endorse a challenger to Jeffries. (RELATED: As Her Party Scrambles For Unity, Rising Star Ocasio-Cortez Seeks To Oust Another Legacy Democrat)
Politico spoke with a person who has knowledge of Ocasio-Cortez plans to fill more seats in the House with “Justice Democrats.” That person said that Ocasio-Cortez will be recruiting far-left, anti-incumbent challengers across the country and that an “African-American woman” has already been selected to challenge Jeffries:
Ocasio-Cortez, who ousted House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley earlier this year in a shocking primary victory, put colleagues on notice for future primaries just days after the November election, telling a livestream audience that she and an allied group, Justice Democrats, would keep working together to boost anti-incumbent challengers — though she didn’t name names. But a person who has discussed the project with Ocasio-Cortez and her team said the congresswoman-elect has recruited an African-American woman to challenge Jeffries, who was just elected to replace Crowley as caucus chairman — the No. 5 House Democratic leadership position.
The source went on to call Jeffries the “highest priority” of Ocasio-Cortez to replace with a Justice Democrat challenger.
Jeffries is a popular and powerful Democrat in the House caucus and is seen as a rising star in his own right. The report cites Jeffries relationship with banking and corporate interests as souring his relationship with Ocasio-Cortez. Jeffries worked as a corporate lawyer for Viacom and CBS before joining Congress in 2012.
Ocasio-Cortez defeated incumbent Democrat Joe Crowley in a stunning primary victory earlier in the year. Since arriving in Washington, Ocasio-Cortez has rocked the boat, leading protests inside Pelosi’s office and battling other members of Congress on Twitter on a near-daily basis.