New York’s longtime Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley was praised for his graceful concession to newcomer Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez when she defeated him in the primary on June 26. But according to Ocasio-Cortez, he may not have conceded at all.
When the race was first called on election night, Crowley grabbed his guitar and sang “Born to Run,” dedicating the performance to Ocasio-Cortez. But in a series of tweets Thursday morning, she said he still hasn’t officially conceded and stood her up for three scheduled concession calls. Ocasio-Cortez also alleged he's mounting a challenge against her as a third-party candidate.
Crowley denied the allegations, writing on Twitter, “I’ve made my support for you clear and the fact that I’m not running.”
Technically speaking, though, Crowley appears to have deliberately kept open an avenue that would allow him to mount a challenge to Ocasio-Cortez in the general election. Though Ocasio-Cortez won the Democratic primary in the 14th District back in June, Crowley won too, on the Working Families Party line. And not only has he yet to officially vacate the line, he actively declined a request from the party to do so after the election, according to the New York Times and the New York Board of Elections.
From time to time, third-party politics can disrupt the balance of the two-party system and offer primary-party candidates who have lost another chance at victory. To wit: On Tuesday, Ocasio-Cortez won a third-party primary herself, when she received write-in votes on the Reform Party primary ballot in New York’s 15th Congressional District. (Ocasio-Cortez politely declined the position.)
Although Crowley says he has stepped out of the race, the logistics behind a third-party nomination require a formal process to nullify the candidacy, according to the Times. But Crowley has made it clear he doesn't plan to complete any of the steps necessary to nullify the nomination.
Ocasio-Cortez is currently citing the controversy in her fundraising efforts, tweeting, “So much for ‘Born to Run’. If you want to see me in Congress, we need your help now more than ever. We cannot underestimate the power of dark money."
Cover image: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democratic Nominee for New York's 14th Congressional District, and moderator Chuck Todd appear on 'Meet the Press' in Washington, D.C., Sunday, July 1, 2018. Photo by: William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images.