Republican Ocasio-Cortez Challenger Drops Out of Primary Race

May 27, 2020 Updated: May 27, 2020

A Republican candidate challenging Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) announced on May 25 that she has dropped out of the congressional GOP primary race, citing executive orders issued by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in response to the CCP virus pandemic as hindering the electoral process.

Scherie Murray, a businesswoman and Jamaican immigrant, announced the news in a statement issued on Monday.

“Governor Cuomo’s undemocratic Executive Orders overthrew New York’s electoral process,” Murray’s campaign said. “The right to access the ballot, freedom of association as a member of a political party, the exchange of ideas and free speech are so sacred that the Founding Fathers made it the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.”

“Notwithstanding, during the coronavirus pandemic, Governor Cuomo’s Executive Orders have gone unchecked, affirming the ability to silence Murray’s First Amendment rights,” the statement continued.

“As long as avowed socialists are legislators, you can rest assured I will use my platform to advocate for the kitchen table issues of the toughest, hardest working New Yorkers,” Murray said. “This is not the end for Scherie Murray because I will continue to work hard.”

The announcement came days after she filed a filed a lawsuit against a contractor who was hired “in good faith” to obtain signatures on her behalf, but allegedly made errors.

Murray’s campaign stated she faced “hurdles” including “a corrupt political establishment working to silence her.”

“To add insult to injury, the vendor hired to collect qualifying signatures to secure ballot access for the Republican Party nomination in the June 2020 Primary, violated New York State election laws,” her campaign said. “The vendor was hired in good faith, yet ultimately prevented Murray from qualifying to be on the Republican Primary ballot for the June 2020 Primary.”

According to the New York Daily News, the federal lawsuit alleges that the contractor used a registered Democrat to be the “subscribing witness” for her petition, rather than a Republican as required by state law.

In announcing the news of her departure from the primary race, Murray expressed her thanks to those in the congressional district.

“America, I promise you more and I will continue to #unitethefight for a prosperous and better future,” she wrote on Twitter Monday. “Thank you so much for believing in me, a legal migrant from Jamaica, W.I. who came to America for a better life.”

New York is scheduled to hold its primary elections on June 23.

Ocasio-Cortez faces several Democratic primary challengers, including Michelle Caruso-Cabrera—a former anchor for CNBC.