It has been very exciting/interesting to be in Northwest Queens these past few months as young, insurgent challengers for congress have taken on institution-incumbents of the NYC delegation in the Democratic primaries. Here in New York District 12, Carolyn Maloney kept her seat safe from Suraj Patel, whom Corner interviewed in April. But the nation will be thinking about the race in NY-14, which includes Ditmars, Woodside, Sunnyside, Jackson Heights, Corona, College Point, Throgs Neck, Parkchester, Morris Park and City Island – where Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez beat Joe Crowley. (Below: map of NY-12, left, and NY-14, right.)
Both candidates were running on eliminating the Immigration Customs Enforcement agency as a stand-out issue and both supported Medicare for All. But I took it as a more general theme that both saw themselves as building a new Democratic Party (or party wing) that will take on the Trump admin by retaking the House with fresh Democrats who are more energized and edgier á la 2010 Tea Party or Eric Cantor’s defeat by David Brat in 2014, analogies apparently made by Ocasio-Cortez herself. But I’m sure there were differences between the two primary races that made the difference in the end, such as styles of campaigning, attitudes about the incumbents in the districts, constituent profiles and perhaps descriptive representation – which is an academic word meaning representation based on race, ethnicity, gender or other identity. I actually asked Ocasio-Cortez about this once and she actually replied on Twitter. Hopefully I can interview her sometime.