- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 12, 2018

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the new darling of the political left after defeating Rep. Joe Crowley in a Democratic primary last month, ignited a firestorm Thursday when she suggested Mr. Crowley was still secretly plotting a third-party bid to stop her.

Mr. Crowley flatly denied the accusation, saying he is no longer running in New York’s 14th congressional district, even though his name remains on the ballot because of a third-party endorsement from the Working Families Party.

Mr. Crowley said the only way he could have his name yanked from the ballot would be to move out of New York, die, get convicted of a crime or accept a nomination for another office elsewhere.

“I don’t plan on moving out of New York, have a clean record, hope God’s will is that I don’t die, and won’t commit what I honestly believe to be election fraud,” the 10-term congressman tweeted.

But the Working Families Party disputed his take, saying “there are many ways” he could get off the ballot if he wanted.

“It’s outrageous that he refuses to show @Ocasio2018 the basic respect of doing so,” the WFP tweeted.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s victory in the primary last month was a political earthquake.

The first-time candidate and member of the Democratic Socialists of America easily topped Mr. Crowley, the fourth-ranking Democrat in the House, while running on a platform of government-run universal health care, tuition-free college and abolishing the government’s immigration enforcement agency.

She has become a political star, endorsing other liberal candidates and causes.

The New York Times reported this week, though, that Mr. Crowley’s name remains on the November ballot as the candidate for the WFP.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said Mr. Crowley had promised to support her.

“Instead, he’s stood me up for all 3 scheduled concession calls. Now, he’s mounting a 3rd party challenge against me and the Democratic Party,” she tweeted.

Mr. Crowley said he isn’t trying to undermine her.

Alexandria, the race is over and Democrats need to come together,” the 56-year-old said.

“I’ve made my support for you clear and the fact that I’m not running,” Mr. Crowley said. “We’ve scheduled phone calls and your team has not followed through. I’d like to connect but I’m not willing to air grievances on Twitter.”

Mr. Crowley was thought to be in line to replace House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, of California, as the leader of House Democrats.

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