Ocasio-Cortez Prompts Twitter Fight With Crowley, Accuses Him of Mounting Third-Party Challenge (He's Not)

Primary-winner Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez / Getty Images
July 12, 2018

Rep. Joe Crowley (D.) of New York's 11th Congressional District engaged in a Twitter back-and-forth with the district's Democratic congressional nominee, self-described Democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

There were initially no signs of bad blood when Ocasio-Cortez unexpectedly defeated the powerful congressman in the June primary.

Crowley even picked up a guitar and dedicated a performance of "Born to Run" to her the night of his defeat.

That all changed when Ocasio-Cortez accused Crowley of mounting a third-party challenge against her Thursday.

The New York Times article she linked to, however, quotes Crowley's campaign spokeswoman explicitly denying that Crowley is running again for his seat.

"Joe Crowley is a Democrat. He's made clear he is not running for Congress and supports the Democratic nominee in NY-14," the spokeswoman said.

However, due to the nature of New York's third parties, Crowley did make the ballot under the Working Families Party line.

While Crowley will not campaign for the seat, he does not plan on going through the process of taking his name off the ballot because, as the Times article explains, the process for doing so is involved. In order for a candidate to removed his or her name, the most viable option would require being nominated for another electoral position on the ballot, "often one that he or she has little chance of winning, like a county clerkship in a region of the state."

Ocasio-Cortez nonetheless continued.

Crowley hadn't tweeted since the night of his defeat but took the time to respond. He disputed Ocasio-Cortez's claim he stoop her up for calls, saying it was instead her team that had not followed through. "Alexandria, the race is over and Democrats need to come together. I’ve made my support for you clear and the fact that I’m not running. 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," he tweeted.

Crowley cleared up why he can't just take his name off the ballot. "Lots questions about WFP line. Was honored to have their support. I’m not running," he tweeted. "For record you can only be removed from the ballot if 1) you move out of NY; 2) die; 3) be convicted of a crime; 4) accept a nomination for another office (in a place I don’t live)."

He then tweeted, "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."

Ocasio-Cortez had not respond to Crowley's tweets at the time of publication.