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US Chamber of Commerce backs AOC primary challenger

by Paul Goldberg

The Independent reports Conservative lobby group the US Chamber of Commerce will reportedly back a primary challenger to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

In a proactive move against the freshman New York congresswoman, the Chamber will support former CNBC anchor Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, according to reports on Wednesday.

The US Chamber of Commerce usually supports business-aligned Republican candidates. Representing more than 3 million businesses, it is one of the world’s largest business organisations advocating for pro-business policies including tax relief, legal reform and trade promotion.

Ms Caruso-Cabrera’s campaign has reportedly raised $1m for her challenge against the progressive “squad” member. The campaign is expected to report having $800,000 in cash plus expenses for the first quarter when it officially files financial disclosures with the Federal Elections Commission on April 15.

A spokeswoman for Ms Caruso-Cabrera’s campaign told The Independent that the strong support was “no surprise”.

“The Bronx and Queens need jobs now. Michelle Caruso-Cabrera supports keeping and creating jobs while her anti-jobs opponent AOC kicked out Amazon and drove away more than 25,000 good paying jobs with benefits,” spokeswoman Katy Delgado said.

“It’s no surprise that organisations who want jobs for the Bronx and Queens support Michelle.”

While the campaign would not confirm its backers, sources said that the Chamber would fundraise for Ms Caruso-Cabrera and mobilise the local Queens business community to turn out at the 23 June primary.

“Michelle is one of the most qualified and competent candidates we have met with this cycle. Her communication skills on jobs and growth will create a clear contrast with AOC,” Scott Reed, the senior political strategist at the US Chamber of Commerce, said on Wednesday. “We plan on using our national network to get her the financial resources to win this race.”

Ms Ocasio-Cortez is acutely aware of the “primarying” tactic used to replace candidates in safe seats before the general election; a process that elevated her to the congress after she defeated incumbent Joe Crowley with only 15,897 votes in the 2018 primary.

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