Manhattan Republican files paperwork to challenge AOC

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File

By David Brand

A Republican planning to challenge U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in 2020 has a tough hill to climb if he hopes to win.

He has a river to cross, too.

Miguel Hernandez filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission Tuesday to run in the Republican primary for New York’s 14th Congressional District. There’s just one potential problem: Hernandez seems to live on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

He registered an address on East 81st Street, though NY-14 covers a chunk of Queens and the Bronx. Hernandez’s principal campaign committee, “Miguel Hernandez for US Congress,” is also listed at the same Upper East Side address.

He can still run for the position even if he doesn’t live in NY-14, but that might not go over too well with voters, some of whom criticized former U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley for spending too much time in Virginia. A disputed New York Post story recently claimed that Ocasio-Cortez does not live in the district.*

Party affiliation, rather than place of residence, will be the bigger obstacle for Hernandez.

Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat, won the district with 78.2 percent of the vote in November 2018. Her Republican challenger Anthony Pappas received 13.6 percent.

In 2016, Crowley won NY-14 with 82.9 percent of the vote. Ocasio-Cortez defeated Crowley in the 2018 Democratic primary.

Hernandez, who could not be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon, isn’t the first Republican lining up to run against Ocasio-Cortez.

In March, Bronx Republican Ruth Papazian told the Daily News that she planned to run for the Republican nomination to challenge Ocasio-Cortez in District 14. Papazian, a journalist, manages the “Bronx Bolshevik Bulletin” Facebook page, which she uses to criticize Ocasio-Cortez and progressive politics.

*A previous version of this story indicated that a candidate has to live in the district within a year of running for Congress. They just have to live in the same state.