Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was knocked off the Working Families Party’s ballot line Tuesday after the left-leaning party failed to collect enough signatures to make the Democratic socialist incumbent its standard bearer.
Queens Supreme Court Judge Phillip Hom ordered the Board of Elections to remove the congresswoman, who goes by her initials AOC on social media, from the WFP line after hearing a legal challenge filed by her Democratic Party primary opponent, Michelle Caruso-Cabrera.
Hom said a review of the WFP’s petition filed for AOC found that it “contained less than the required number of signatures of enrolled party members necessary for party designation.”
Caruso-Cabrera reveled in knocking the congresswoman off the WFP ballot line for the 14th congressional district seat that encompasses parts of Queens and the Bronx.
“The AOC campaign is in shock. She has hurt working people of the Bronx and Queens with her votes and creates disunity within our party. Her own campaign spokesman ran away from her in March. No wonder why pro-union forces don’t want her and neither do our neighborhoods,” Caruso-Cabrera said following the ruling.
The removal from the minor party line is an embarrassment for the WFP, but it’s unclear what impact, if any, it will have on the Democratic primary between AOC and Caruso-Cabrera. It does show that Caruso-Cabrera, the former veteran CNBC anchor, is running an aggressive campaign against the first-term incumbent.
Ocasio-Cortez, 30, upset veteran ex-Congressman Joe Crowley in the Democratic primary in 2018 — shocking the political world. Crowley subsequently resigned as chairman of the Queens Democratic Party.
At the time, the WFP backed Crowley against insurgent Ocasio-Cortez.
The WFP blamed a condensed petitioning period during coronavirus pandemic for the ballot debacle.
“The Working Families Party is unwavering in our support for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and we believe the congresswoman is the leader her district and this country needs. Limits on petitioning due to coronavirus have led to numerous ballot challenges, including this one,” said NY Working Families Party State Director Sochie Nnaemeka.
“We will continue to support and campaign for the Congresswoman through Election Day.”