Freshman Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has stunned political pundits with her third-quarter coffer, which totaled a stunning $1.4 million entirely comprised of contributions from grassroots campaigning.
Ocasio-Cortez, who is a representative for the 14th Congressional District of New York, raised the majority of her funds from donations under $200, according to Common Dreams. The 30-year-old's campaign finance records on Open Secrets reveal a war chest totaling over $3 million in donations in her first term alone.
The freshman congresswoman's donations put her ahead of all House Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who managed to amass $1.26 million from her supports in the third quarter. Pelosi is commonly hailed as a stalwart fundraiser in Washington circles, which further underscores Ocasio-Cortez's upset.
Ocasio-Cortez— who came to prominence after defeating 10-term incumbent Joe Crawford in the 2018 midterm elections— went on Twitter to defend her fundraising strategy, which precludes accepting gifts from large PACs or special interest groups.
"I intentionally built my campaign to rely on small-dollar grassroots support without any corporate money, because I felt that's the best way to be accountable to everyday people. It has impacted how I work in Congress in powerful ways.""Our political system's reliance on huge sums of money has many negative impacts, but one of the largest is that it takes lawmakers' time away from lawmaking," she went on to add. "The less time lawmakers have, the more special interests can slip in harmful provisions."
The Bronx representative's success saw an outpouring of support and congratulations from her base.
Many are pointing to instances like this as one of many signals of a changing Democratic Party. The Daily Mail, for instance, reported that this upset adds to the tension between Pelosi and Ocasio-Cortez. The speaker has not offered much support for Ocasio-Cortez's flagship causes like The Green New Deal and Medicare For All.
Earlier this year, The New York Times documented a rising feud between Pelosi and "The Squad," which is a coalition comprised of congresswomen Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ocasio-Cortez. The Squad caught the house speaker's ire when they failed to support emergency funding for the border wall, and were the only four votes in opposition to the proposal. Pelosi decried their actions, saying that while the congresswomen may enjoy an engaged base on social media, they lack the support to execute their ideas.
"They didn't have any following," said Pelosi. "They're four people and that's how many votes they got."
The New York congresswoman took to Twitter to rebuff Pelosi, whom she has previously accused of discriminatory behavior, as previously reported by The Inquisitr. Ocasio-Cortez insists that engagement from her supporters provided her with insight into prevailing political attitudes and concerns.