Millennial superstar Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez isn’t only motivating young voters to the polls for self-declared democratic socialist Sen. Bernard Sanders, she’s also spurred young Republican women to jump into politics to counter her far-left rhetoric.
Some bill themselves as “anti-AOC” candidates as they campaign against the New York congresswoman’s socialist proposals.
Catalina Lauf, a 26-year-old running to unseat Democrat Rep. Lauren Underwood in Illinois’ 14th Congressional District, launched her campaign with an ad featuring Ms. Ocasio-Cortez and other members of the so-called “Squad” of far-left freshman House Democrats.
Ms. Lauf said the young leftist women’s angry voices divide Americans.
“People naturally made a comparison between myself and AOC, given that I would replace her as the youngest ever elected. We are both from Hispanic backgrounds, but could not be more different,” Ms. Lauf told The Washington Times. “There are a lot of millennials who haven’t had a countervoice to these women.”
Ms. Lauf worked for Mr. Trump’s administration in Washington before returning to her home state. She said she wants to give a new face to the Republican Party, showing there are young voters among minorities and women who support the president’s “America First” agenda.
Her primary Tuesday will test her millennial appeal against a crowded field of Republican rivals, including state Sens. Jim Oberweis and Sue Rezin.
Across the country, other millennial, minority, conservative women running campaigns against socialist policies include Anna Paulina Luna in Florida’s 13th District and Lisa Song Sutton in Nevada’s 4th Congressional District.
In Florida, Christy McLaughlin has stepped up as a young Republican in a packed primary vying for a shot at the open seat of retiring GOP Rep. Francis Rooney.
By the time voters cast their primary ballots in Florida’s 19th Congressional District, Ms. McLaughlin will be 25 years old.
Her mother is a first-generation American whose family fled communist Cuba. She says she doesn’t want to label herself as “anti-AOC” because that gives the progressive lawmaker too much recognition. Instead, she wants to focus on the policies she says lack a basic understanding of history.
“Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is trying to persuade others to follow,” Ms. McLaughlin told The Washington Times, but those considering embracing the freshman congresswoman’s radical agenda just need to look at history, “and what people have lived through, and how their lives have been completely destroyed.”
She added she has focused her campaign on issues such as her pro-life advocacy and work for veterans.
“As a woman, I think it is extremely important — and a young woman at that — I think it’s important for me to advocate that being pro-life is being pro-woman,” she said.
She must break through a field of eight other GOP hopefuls, most of them running on pro-President Trump platforms, including Republican strategist Ford O’Connell.
She also is up against seasoned candidates such as state Reps. Heather Fitzenhagen and Dane Eagle.