news 3 days ago

Ocasio-Cortez, Crowley feud over November ballot on Twitter

CQ-Roll Call — By Bridget Bowman CQ-Roll Call

July 12-- WASHINGTON-Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley said he would not run against Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who defeated Crowley in a primary last month. On Thursday, Ocasio-Cortez accused Crowley on Twitter of waging a third-party campaign against her.

"Alexandria, the race is over and Democrats need to come together," Crowley tweeted in response on Thursday. "I've made my support for you clear and the fact that I'm not running."

Ocasio-Cortez's victory sent shockwaves through the Democratic Party. Crowley, a member of Democratic leadership, was the first incumbent Democrat in a primary this year. The flurry of tweets from both indicated Crowley has not yet spoken with Ocasio-Cortez since losing to her more than two weeks ago.

Crowley lost the Democratic nomination, but it remains unclear whether Crowley will still be on the ballot in November under a different party, even if he does not actively campaign.

Candidates in New York can qualify to run on multiple party lines on the ballot. Despite losing the Democratic Party primary, Crowley won the Working Families Party line in the 14th District, which includes Queens and part of the Bronx.

Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitter to accuse Crowley of standing her up for three phone calls and continuing to run as the Working Families Party candidate in November.

"Now, he's mounting a 3rd party challenge against me and the Democratic Party- and against the will of @NYWFP," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.

She linked to a New York Times article that cited a Working Families Party spokesman who asked the Crowley campaign to remove his name from the party's line on the November ballot, which Crowley declined.

A Crowley spokesperson told The Times, "Joe Crowley is a Democrat. He's made clear he is not running for Congress and supports the Democratic nominee in NY-14."

Crowley's spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether he would seek to remove his name from the Working Families Party line on the November ballot.

Ocasio-Cortez also unintentionally won the Reform Party line in a neighboring district when a handful of people wrote in her name, but she has said she will remain in the 14th District.

The prospect of Crowley remaining on the ballot in November escalated tensions between the two, after initial public statements of respect. Crowley performed the Bruce Springsteen song "Born to Run," which he dedicated to Ocasio-Cortez the night of his defeat. Ocasio-Cortez said in media interviews after her win that she respected Crowley and appreciated his graciousness.

"So much for 'Born to Run,'" Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Thursday. "If you want to see me in Congress, we need your help now more than ever. We cannot underestimate the power of dark money. Support me now," she added, including a link to her fundraising page.

Crowley also said their inability to connect on the phone was because Ocasio-Cortez's team had not responded.

"I'd like to connect but I'm not willing to air grievances on Twitter," Crowley tweeted.

Crowley had said in a debate on NY1 before the June 26 primary that he would back Ocasio-Cortez if she won.

"What I believe is that we have to unite in our party, make sure we're united going into the election in November," Crowley said at the time. "I'm willing to make the pledge tonight that if you win this primary and have the support of the people of the 14th Congressional District, that I will fully endorse, work for your, and vociferously and robustly work for your election to Congress."

Crowley asked Ocasio-Cortez to make a similar pledge, and she said she would have to consult her supporters before answering.

"I represent not just my campaign, but a movement," Ocasio-Cortez said in the debate. " ... We govern ourselves democratically. So I would be happy to take that question to a vote and respond in the affirmative or however they respond."

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