New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez committed an election gaffe by failing to receive signatures needed for her spot on the Working Families Party ballot line. Though the blunder will likely not affect Ms. Ocasio-Cortez's odds of winning her seat again in the upcoming fall election, the incident comes amidst rumors of internal issues in her campaign.
According to The New York Times, Ocasio-Cortez will not appear on the Work Families Party ballot in either the Democratic primary or the general election after failing to collect the 15 required signatures.
Though the minimum is generally higher, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo reduced the number of necessary signatures by 30 percent in an executive order signed earlier in April. The emergency law sought to give relief to political campaigns during the state lockdown orders due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has made New York City the biggest COVID-19 hotspot in the world.
But despite the decreased number of signatures, Ocasio-Cortez still managed to collect just 13 names, two shy of the needed minimum.
The freshman congresswoman's Democratic primary opponent, former CNBC anchor Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, saw the opening and took advantage by bringing the matter to court. Queens Supreme Court Judge Phillip Hom accordingly struck Ocasio-Cortez from the ballot line.
Caruso-Cabrera celebrated the ruling, claiming that the lack of signatures showed that New York neighborhoods don't "want" the 30-year-old.
"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," Caruso-Cabrera said, according to PJ Media.
Caruso-Cabrera then hinted at discord in Ocasio-Cortez's campaign.
"Her own campaign spokesman ran away from her in March," Caruso-Cabrera added, referring to Corbin Trent. Trent abruptly left the campaign in what many politicos considered a shock move, per The New York Post. Trent continued to raise eyebrows after he appeared to scrub all affiliation to the freshman congresswoman from his Twitter account.
"No wonder why pro-union forces don't want her and neither do our neighborhoods," Caruso-Cabrera concluded.
However, the Ocasio-Cortez campaign remained unfazed despite the blunder.
"Congrats to them for finding technicalities, but it's not going to change the outcome of the election," Lauren Hitt, a spokeswoman for Ocasio-Cortez, returned, adding that her team did not to potentially spread the virus.
Ocasio-Cortez still has the endorsement of the Working Families party, even if she will not appear on their ballot line.
Ocasio-Cortez shot to fame after an upset victory in 2018 made her the youngest congresswoman in history. She has often been a target of President Donald Trump, who recently joked that he had asked Anthony Fauci to run against the 30-year-old.