U.S. Representative Ocasio-Cortez raised $1.2 million in second quarter


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has been in the middle of a controversy that includes House Democratic leadership and President Donald Trump, raised $1.2 million for her re-election in the second quarter, an impressive haul for a freshman lawmaker.

U.S. Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) speaks at a news conference after Democrats in the U.S. Congress moved to formally condemn President Donald Trump’s attacks on the four minority congresswomen on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 15, 2019. REUTERS/Erin Scott

The bulk of Ocasio-Cortez’s fundraising came in donations of less than $200 – an indication that she is successfully raising money online from grassroots supporters.

At the end of June, the Democratic congresswoman had $1.4 million in cash, according to disclosures her re-election campaign filed on Monday. The total was a sharp uptick for Ocasio-Cortez, who raised $2.1 million for her entire first election campaign.

Her fundraising haul leaves her well positioned ahead of when she is likely to run for re-election in 2020. U.S. House members serve two-year terms.

By comparison, Hakeem Jefferies, the head of the House Democratic caucus, raised about $845,000 for his re-election bid in the same period. House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, a Republican who is one of the chamber’s most prolific fundraisers, raised $1.4 million in the first quarter of the year.

Ocasio-Cortez raised more than some Democrats currently running for president, including former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and U.S. Representative Tim Ryan.

She has been sparring with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over the chamber’s response to detention centers on the border housing migrant children. Ocasio-Cortez has argued Pelosi has not done enough to push back against the Republican president’s policies.

On Sunday, Trump injected himself in the middle of the dispute, drawing a barrage of criticism when wrote on Twitter that Ocasio-Cortez and three other minority woman lawmakers, known in Congress as “the squad,” should go back to “the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

All four of the first-term House members are U.S. citizens, and all but one were born in the United States.

Ocasio-Cortez accused Trump of trying to sow division.

“Weak minds and leaders challenge loyalty to our country in order to avoid challenging and debating the policy,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

Reporting by Ginger Gibson; editing by Jonathan Oatis

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