AOC spends $6M ahead of NY primary as she braces for first reelection bid

The New York Democrat, a rising star in the progressive movement, has raised close to $10.5 million.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who faces the first electoral challenge of her congressional tenure on Tuesday, has spent more money than any other House Democrat seeking reelection this year.

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Ocasio-Cortez had spent $6.3 million as of June 3, according to her latest filing with the Federal Election Committee. It’s the sixth-highest amount among House candidates and the highest amount among House Democrats seeking reelection, according to a Hill analysis of the data.

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Just two years after her upset victory over Joe Crowley, a powerful member of House leadership once thought to be in line for speaker, Ocasio-Cortez has built a massive grassroots fundraising machine.

The New York Democrat, a rising star in the progressive movement, has raised close to $10.5 million; about 80 percent of those donations stemmed from individuals giving less than $200, FEC data shows. The massive fundraising haul is among the most lucrative of this cycle; only House GOP Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., and Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., out-fundraised her, the Hill reported.

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Ocasio-Cortez poured about $363,000 on broadcast, digital and radio ads between June 17-22, according to Advertising Analytics. She will face off against Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, a former CNBC anchor, in the Democratic primary on Tuesday.

Lauren Hitt, a spokeswoman for Ocasio-Cortez, told FOX Business that one opponent - Caruso-Cabrera -- has raised $2 million, and loaned herself another $1 million to spend during the primary. There are also three super PACs spending against Ocasio-Cortez, she said.

Hitt told The Hill that the freshman congresswoman is taking her primary challenge seriously.

“Our challenger has spent millions on this primary race and has the support of three super PACs,” a representative said. “That’s why you’re seeing the spending you’re seeing. We take nothing for granted.”

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Caruso-Cabrera’s donors are some of Wall Street’s biggest titans, like Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman and Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon, both of whom gave the $2,800 maximum. Five other Blackstone employees and three other Goldman Sachs executives have also donated to Caruso-Cabrera, according to the Financial Times. Other donors include Home Depot co-founder Ken Langone and his wife, Elaine, who gave a combined $11,200.

She is also backed by the Chamber of Commerce and has raised more than $2 million.

Caruso-Cabrera is focusing heavily on two criticisms of Ocasio-Cortez: Her March vote against the $2.2 trillion CARES Act, intended to provide relief to businesses and workers hurting as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and her opposition to Amazon’s plan to build a second headquarters in Long Island City. The e-commerce behemoth eventually abandoned its decision, facing mounting pressure from New York lawmakers, including Ocasio-Cortez.

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