World

Ocasio-Cortez wins 2nd House term

by AFP / pic by AFP

NEW YORK • New York progressive Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (picture) comfortably secured a second term in the US Congress on Tuesday with an expected win over her Republican challenger, who was outspent despite raising US$10 million (RM42 million).

As the neck-and-neck presidential race kept American voters on edge, the quartet known as “The Squad” that includes Ocasio-Cortez posted successes for the Democratic Party’s left wing.

John Cummings, 60, hoped fundraising from conservative donors nationwide could propel him past one of the left’s most popular stars.

But the former police officer and high school teacher was no match for the charismatic 31-year-old representative of parts of New York City’s (NYC) Bronx and Queens.

Democratic socialist Ocasio-Cortez raised more than US$17 million for her second congressional campaign, making it the second-most expensive House race in the country even though her primary win all but guaranteed her House seat was safe.

With 65% reporting, the congresswoman known as “AOC” led Cummings by 38 percentage points, according to The New York Times. In 2018 she won the seat by nearly 80%.

“Serving NY-14 and fighting for working-class families in Congress has been the greatest honour, privilege, & responsibility of my life,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.

“Thank you to the Bronx & Queens for re-electing me to the House despite the millions spent against us, & trusting me to represent you once more.”

Ocasio-Cortez is part of a group of like-minded congresswoman known as “The Squad”, who are admired on the Left for challenging the Washington status quo.

Her three allies were set to duplicate her electoral achievement.

US media called races for Minnesota’s Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, with Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib also leading her Republican opponent by a wide margin.

Pressley called her successful re-election bid a win for “our shared humanity”.

Ocasio-Cortez, in particular, has been the target of near-constant Republican ire — while also endorsing leftists who take on members of the Democratic Party’s old guard.

The former organiser for Bernie Sanders — the longtime Democratic socialist senator from Vermont — rose to prominence thanks to her relaxed social media personality and willingness to shake things up on Capitol Hill.

She’s been floated as a potential future challenger to NY’s Democratic Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, or a primary opponent against NY’s centrist Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2022.

Many of her supporters have also urged Ocasio-Cortez to consider a presidential run. Her first year of eligibility for the White House — the minimum age is 35 — would be in 2024.

But she’s been cautious to make promises concerning her political future. — AFP

Dayang Norazhar

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