Ocasio-Cortez stockpiling campaign cash after first year in Congress
Speculation has already started about the star freshman's next move.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez raised nearly $2 million over the final three months of last year, according to the star House freshman's campaign.
Ocasio-Cortez’s sizable cash haul — $1.97 million in the fourth quarter of 2019 and over $5.3 million for the entire year — is one of the largest revealed so far among members of Congress, and the size of her fundraising base will likely stoke speculation about the New Yorker's ambitions.
She is expected to report entering 2020 with $3 million cash on hand, according to her campaign, even though she is running for reelection in an overwhelmingly blue district. But POLITICO recently reported that whispers have already started about a presidential run for the 30-year-old, and there’s also talk of a potential Senate run in 2022 or 2024.
Ocasio-Cortez's campaign said she raised an additional $85,000 for other Democrats during the fourth quarter, including presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, whom she has endorsed, and California Reps. Mike Levin and Katie Porter. The totals are subject to slight changes by the Jan. 31 reporting deadline, her campaign said.
Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign received more than 325,000 contributions from more than 185,000 individual donors in 2019. Her fundraising in the final quarter of the year is a dramatic increase compared to the total raised for her entire first election campaign in 2018, which came in at $2.1 million.
Though facing nearly a dozen challengers, Ocasio-Cortez is expected to easily hold on to her seat. Her fundraising was done with zero call time, the campaign said.
December was Ocasio-Cortez’s strongest month to date, with 120,000 contributions received and an average donation about $16.50.
“Since the first days of this campaign, we’ve known that it will take a movement to challenge a machine. That is exactly what the 185,000 people that donated to this campaign are part of: a movement,” said Corbin Trent, spokesman for Ocasio-Cortez. “Alexandria continues to prove that if you fight for people, they will fight for you.”
Her fundraising numbers come after Fox News reported that the freshman still isn’t paying dues to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, joining a handful of members from both parties who have spurned the party infrastructure. In a statement in response to the story, Ocasio-Cortez — who ousted longtime Rep. Joe Crowley in a primary in 2018 — cited the DCCC's work to undermine liberal challengers to moderate Democratic incumbents.
“I am also not the only one,” Ocasio-Cortez said in response to the story. “DCCC made clear that they will blacklist any org that helps progressive candidates like me. I can choose not to fund that kind of exclusion.”
Ocasio-Cortez’s fourth-quarter fundraising numbers don’t include the funds raised on Saturday in response to her announcement of a new political action committee, the Courage to Change PAC.
HuffPost reported Sunday that the PAC raised $69,000 in the 24 hours after its launch.