Meet the Woman Who Will Challenge Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the Democratic Primary
Who is the woman who will fight for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez‘s Congressional seat? Former CNBC journalist Michelle Caruso-Cabrera officially announced she will challenge the representative in the Democratic primary for the 14th Congressional District in Queens and the Bronx. “Formerly CNBC, Candidate for Congress NY-14, Fighting for the people of Queens and BX, daughter of immigrants & living the American Dream,” Michelle’s Instagram bio reads. The former TV host’s followers are excited about her joining the race and showered her in messages of support. “Beat AOC!!!” one wrote. “Best of luck with your campaign, you’ve always been a rock star on air, go win!” another commented.
They share similar stories. While AOC — who was born and raised in the Bronx to Puerto Rican parents — worked as a bartender before being elected to Congress, Caruso-Cabrera worked as a waitress and also comes from an immigrant family. “I am so lucky to have had such a wonderful career and I want everybody to have the opportunity that I’ve had,” she said in a statement.
According to her campaign website, Cabrera, 53, “is the granddaughter of working-class Italian and Cuban immigrants. When Michelle’s grandparents first arrived in America, they worked arduous overnight shifts and took dangerous jobs in the meatpacking industry to pay the rent and feed their children.”
Her bio adds that Michelle began her career at Univision News, where she worked as a producer and won an Emmy. For over two decades, she worked as a lead reporter and anchor at CNBC and covered important news from Cuba, Iran, Ukraine, Iraq, Italy, Russia, Venezuela, and Latin America. She was also named one of the 100 Most Influential Hispanics by Hispanic Business Magazine, and Broadcaster of the Year by the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.
Michelle would have some big shoes to fill. In 2018, Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest woman ever elected to the United States Congress at just 29 years old. She’s already become nationally recognized for her policy proposals and social-media savvy.
Ocasio-Cortez, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, worked for Senator Bernie Sanders’s 2016 presidential campaign, where she developed some of the organizing skills that would help her win her own election two years later. Since taking office, Ocasio-Cortez has been more active in just over a year than some politicians are in their whole careers. She introduced the Green New Deal just a month after being sworn in. Republicans defeated the legislation in the Senate, but the idea has remained an important topic in the presidential primary race, with many of the candidates releasing their own climate proposals inspired by the original bill. This July, she announced that she’s co-sponsoring the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights Act, which would ensure the basic labor rights of domestic workers in the United States.
Ocasio-Cortez champions many other progressive policies, such as tuition-free public college and trade schools for everyone, student debt cancellation, and stricter gun control, and supports the Abolish ICE movement. “I don’t believe that an agency that systematically and repeatedly violates human rights … can be reformed,” she’s said. Eight Republicans and four other Democrats are also running for her Congressional seat.