Gov. Andrew Cuomo easily defeated Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Tuesday in a surprise challenge to determine who will head New York’s delegation to the Democratic National Convention.
Democratic Party chairman Jay Jacobs — a Cuomo ally — fumed that he was “blindsided” when a motion was made to nominate AOC to head the delegation during an online Democratic Committee meeting.
Still, Cuomo received 218 votes compared to the 34 votes gleaned by the first-term congresswoman, who represents portions of Queens and The Bronx, Jacobs said.
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“It was a bad performance. AOC got 13 percent of the vote. She did vote for herself,” Jacobs said following the meeting.
Jacobs said he was disappointed because he wanted party unity before heading into the convention, which takes place in Milwaukee Aug. 17-20, though the coronavirus pandemic has scaled back in-person events.
“It surprised me. I was blindsided by it. It was bad faith,” Jacobs said.
Jacobs said it appeared that “rogue operators” were behind the AOC nomination and that he didn’t think the congresswoman herself instigated the challenge.
As governor, Cuomo is considered the de-facto head of the state Democratic Party.
Through a rep, AOC distanced herself from the insurgency. The spokeswoman noted that AOC didn’t even personally participate in the meeting — though a staffer represented her and voted for her to lead New York Democrats at the convention.
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“We didn’t want to lead the New York delegation at the DNC convention. We have no plans to go,” said Ocasio-Cortez spokeswoman Laurent Hitt.
“Alexandria was surprised someone nominated her. We didn’t ask anyone to nominate her. We did not attempt to whip any votes. We had no premeditated thoughts about this whatsoever.”
It’s not the first time Ocasio-Cortez has faced off with Cuomo. She helped spearhead opposition to the abandoned Amazon plan to open a headquarters bordering her district in Queens. Cuomo negotiated the deal with Amazon, which included billions in subsidies.
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She has also criticized Cuomo for refusing to back higher taxes on the rich to help preserve services for needy New Yorkers during the COVID-19 fiscal crisis.
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