AOC's Republican challenger Scherie Murray immigrated to US at 9, was inspired by Barack Obama and loves Donald Trump

AOC's Republican challenger Scherie Murray immigrated to US at 9, was inspired by Barack Obama and loves Donald Trump

New York businesswoman Scherie Murray recently became the fourth candidate to challenge Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), who represents NY-District 14 in the Congress, for her seat in 2020. 

Murray, who was born in 1980 in Jamaica and immigrated to the US at the age of nine, launched her political campaign against AOC on Wednesday.

The 38-year-old resides in the predominately African-American neighborhood of Springfield Gardens in Queens.

In the past, Murray worked as a systems analyst for the NYC MTA Jamaica Bus Depot.

She started her own company, the Esemel Group, with the aim of advancing opportunities for minority groups in her city, according to her campaign website

A Republican who admires Obama

Murray decided that she was a Republican during her college days. Her interest in politics first stirred in 2009 when she was obtaining her second bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism at Brooklyn College, when she took one of her English professors' words to heart. “He spoke about party politics, American history, and things of that nature,” she told VICE News in May.


“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.”

She also added that despite her right-wing political ideals, former President Barack Obama was an inspiration for her. “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 said. “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.”

Job creation at the forefront 

Both in interviews with news outlets as well as campaign videos, Murray has made it clear that the main agenda of her political platform would be to create jobs—something that she claimed her opponent was not focused on. “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." 


While speaking about the Amazon New York deal, Murray made reference to the New York Times article titled "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is Top ‘Villain’ in Amazon Pullout, Poll Finds" where the outlet reported that AOC had opposed to the company building a major campus in Queens because the corporation would have sought “$3 billion in tax breaks and incentives that she said should have been spent elsewhere." 

Murray blamed AOC's Democratic socialism as the reason behind her inability to connect with her constituents and the average voters. “I think it’s far, far to the left and it is not connecting with everyday Americans,” she said. “We know that it certainly will kill jobs.”

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) speaks during a news conference at the East Front of the U.S. Capitol February 7, 2019, in Washington, DC (Source: Alex Wong/Getty Images)


In a recently released campaign video, she highlighted exacted what gave her an upper hand at achieving bipartisan support in Congress. “I’ve been building bridges and crossing them my whole life. I’ve built bridges between constituents in our community and the elected officials who represent them, between different nationalities and races, and between political parties," she said in the video. “Your representative in Washington chooses self-promotion over service, conflict over constituents, resistance over assistance. Queens and the Bronx need someone who will create jobs instead of turning them away."


Apart from the creation of jobs, Murray also said that she supports 'Medicare-for-all', traditionally a Democratic stance. “Medicare-for-all... I think a lot of people are happy with their current health insurance," she said. 


Support for Trump

Murray has made no secret of the fact that she supported President Donald Trump. She refused to completely denounce the president's controversial tweet where he told AOC and other minority progressives to "go back" to where they came from. “I think it’s disgusting, to be quite honest,” Murray said. “I think we are missing the point of why we’re elected to public office: to legislate on policy, to deliver results to those kitchen table issues that are affecting everyday Americans.”

Nonetheless, she simmered down her comments by adding: "Is that how I would have worded it? No. Do I think the president is a racist? No. But I want to get back to the core of why we’re even talking about this—there is a crisis at our border."

She also wished the POTUS on his birthday by tweeting out a picture of herself with him. "Happy Birthday to our President @realDonaldTrump. May God continue to bless you as President of the United States of America. May God bless us all," she captioned the picture. 


She ran for office and lost in the past 

Murray previously served on the New York Republican State Committee. She ran unsuccessfully for New York City Council in 2009 and 2013. Her notable loss came in 2015 when she ran for the New York State Assembly as a candidate for District 29, a seat previously held by disgraced Assemblyman Bill Scarborough, who was charged with 11 federal counts of corruption for misappropriating campaign funds.

After managing to acquire just seven percent of the votes, Murray lost the election to Democratic opponent Alicia Hyndman in a landslide, according to Ballotpedia.


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