Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) has quickly made a name for herself by challenging power brokers and those who hold influence, using the halls of Congress and her millions of social media followers to spread her progressive vision.
But over the weekend, when it came to Ocasio-Cortez being challenged — this time as the person with the power — the self-avowed democratic-socialist tucked tail and ran.
During the National Puerto Rican Day Parade in Manhattan on Sunday, talk radio producer Rich Valdes, a Republican who plans to challenge Ocasio-Cortez for her seat in Congress, confronted Ocasio-Cortez on Fifth Avenue.
Valdes wanted to challenge Ocasio-Cortez and her socialist vision, according to the New York Post.
However, once Ocasio-Cortez spotted Valdes, the freshman lawmaker “cut her handshaking short, jerked her hand back and jetted to the other side of the street,” Valdes told the Post.
“She literally ran!” he exclaimed. “I thought this was a good time to try and get a response but I honestly only saw the back of her head as she trotted across the street.”
The Post spoke with witnesses who confirmed what Valdes claimed. Curtis Sliwa said the incident unfolded around 12:30 p.m. Sliwa’s wife, Nancy, shared pictures with the Post showing a shocked Ocasio-Cortez turning to look at Valdes.
“As soon as she saw him she did a pirouette — a spin — and she ran north on Fifth Avenue, ahead of her delegation, just to get away from Rich,” he said. “I heard Rich yelling after her, ‘OK, AOC. You can run — but you can’t hide!'”
How did AOC respond?
Her spokesman, Corbin Trent, denied that his boss ran from Valdes.
“She kept walking! The parade moved! It’s a procession! Give me a break,” he told the Post. “Tell him to run for office and she’ll debate him.”
Valdes, who previously worked for former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), revealed last week that he intends to move into New York’s 14th congressional district to run against Ocasio-Cortez in 2020.
Meanwhile, Ocasio-Cortez may be setting sights on a position with increased power and influence.
Axios reported Monday, citing top Democratic strategists, that Ocasio-Cortez may try to primary New York’s Democratic senators, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer in 2022 or Kirsten Gillibrand in 2024.