A Republican immigrant from Jamaica, Scherie Murray, is running against Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Scherie Murray, a Jamaican immigrant and Republican, announced she will challenge current New York Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for her seat in the 2020 election. Murray, 38, is a New York businesswoman who came to the United States from Jamaica as the age of nine.

In launching her campaign, Murry said there is “a crisis in Queens, and it’s called AOC.” Rather than focusing on her constituents, Ocasio-Cortez is focused on “being famous,” Murray added. She believes the current Congressional Representative is “tolling back programs,” creating the “job-killing Green New Deal,” and stopping Amazon’s New York deal.

Murray launched her campaign with an introductory video that sharply criticizes Ocasio-Cortez. In the video, Murray accuses the current Representative with choosing self-promotion over service and “conflict over constituents.” She stated that Queens and the Bronx need a representative in Congress who will create jobs rather than “turning them away.” She also cited the type of Democratic Socialism supported by Ocasio-Cortez as much too far left for “everyday Americans.” Additionally, Murray said that Ocasio-Cortez’s support for “Medicare for all” disregards the fact that many people like their current health insurance and that the Green New Deal will “certainly kill jobs.” The launch video does not name the current President or the Republican Party, as Murray views herself as a “bridge builder/” She has previously served as state committeewoman of the New York State Republican Party.

Murray grew up in Southeast Queens and worked for the Jamaica Bus Depot when she was a teenager. She founded The Esemel Group, a TV production and ad company, in 2004. She noted that her business created jobs for New York City minority workers. She no longer works for the firm, being a full-time mother.

Four other Republicans have filed to run against Ocasio-Cortez in the 2020 primary, including former police officer John Cummings, medical journalist Ruth Papazian, construction contractor Miguel Hernandez, and entrepreneur Antoine Tucker. No Democratic primary challenger has yet announced.

The GOP primary will take place in June 2020, and it is believed that winning a general election in the 14th congressional district is a long shot, but Murray thinks a Republican can win because of dissatisfaction with Ocasio-Cortez.

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Stephanie Korney