5 Things to Know About Scherie Murray, the Jamaican-Born Republican Woman Who Wants to Turn AOC’s Seat Red

She's already had her Fox News interview.
5 Things to Know About Scherie Murray, the Jamaican-Born Republican Woman Who Wants To Turn AOC’s Seat Red

The GOP thinks it’s found a way to take down Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — at the ballot box.

Her name is Scherie Murray.

Murray, a black, Jamaican-born New York City Republican, announced that she’ll be running against the 29-year-old freshman congresswoman in 2020.

Murray, a 38-year-old businesswoman residing in the predominately black neighborhood of Springfield Gardens in Queens, officially kicked off her campaign against the star Democrat Wednesday with a phone interview with Fox News.


“There is a crisis in Queens, and it’s called AOC,” Murray told Fox News. “And instead of focusing on us, she’s focusing on being famous. Mainly rolling back progress and authoring the job-killing Green New Deal and killing the Amazon New York deal.”

Murray released a two-minute campaign video in which she slams AOC for caring more about her social media clout than serving her congressional district in Queens and the Bronx.

“Your representative in Washington chooses self-promotion over service, conflict over constituents, resistance over assistance," Murray says in the video. "Queens and the Bronx needs someone who will create jobs instead of turning them away."

Murray currently serves as a district leader for the Republican Party’s state committee, a seat she was elected to in 2013.

Here’s what we know about AOC’s newest GOP opponent:

She's an immigrant

Murray immigrated to the U.S. with her family from Jamaica when she was 9.

Murray grew up in Southeast Queens and was a star student at the Campus Magnet High School in Cambria Heights, graduating with accolades in community service and serving as captain of her high school gymnastics team.

Today, she's the mother of three, and a devout Christian. She also launched her own media company, called the Esemel Group, in 2004. The Esemel Group works to generate employment opportunities specifically for minorities in New York City, according to her campaign website.


She keeps running — and losing

This is far from Murray’s first run for office. She ran unsuccessfully for New York City Council in 2009 and 2013.

Back in 2015, Murray ran against current New York State Assemblywoman Alicia Hyndman in a special election for the vacated seat. The seat — formerly held by disgraced Assemblyman Bill Scarborough, who was indicted on 11 federal counts of corruption in late 2014 for misappropriating campaign funds — was hotly contested in the summer of 2015. Murray, however, had a tough time gaining any traction in the historically Democratic stronghold that is Southeast Queens, and was trounced by the Queens establishment pick, earning just 7.2% of the vote.

She became a Republican in college

Murray told VICE News in May that her interest in politics first stirred in 2009 at Brooklyn College. She was obtaining her second bachelor’s degree, in broadcast journalism, when one of her English professors stoked her interest in politics with an entirely new perspective.

“He spoke about party politics, American history, and things of that nature,” she said at the time. “It was a great course for me as I pursued broadcast journalism. When I obtained my bachelor's, I immediately left Brooklyn College and ran for City Council. So that class really did more than just inspire me.”

Obama was a big inspiration

Despite her alignment with the Republican Party, Murray says she was inspired to get into politics in 2009 by none other than President Barack Obama.

“As a black man, I think he really heavy-handedly secured the African-American vote and continues to be universally embraced by our community,” she told VICE News. “I was inspired by him and not really looking at party politics as a younger person. You want to get involved and you want to make a difference, and in a community like Southeast Queens, there aren’t many in the Republican Party to guide you.”

She's not the only one challenging AOC

Murray is one of four Republican candidates challenging AOC. Former NYPD officer and retired teacher John Cummings, construction contractor Miguel Hernandez of Manhattan, journalist Ruth Papazian from the Bronx, and Bronx entrepreneur Antoine Tucker have all filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to run against the socialist Democrat.

To be clear, New York's 14th is the very definition of a safe district for Democrats. In the last two presidential elections Democrats beat Republicans by an average of 29%, according to Ballotpedia.

Cover: Scherie Murray, YouTube