WASHINGTON – Former CNBC anchor Michelle Caruso-Cabrera added her name Tuesday to the list of candidates hoping to deny Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez a second term.
Caruso-Cabrera, who worked for the financial news network for more than 20 years, is challenging Ocasio-Cortez in the Democratic primary June 23 for New York’s 14th District. She filed her candidacy with the Federal Election Commission on Monday, becoming Ocasio-Cortez’s fifth Democratic challenger and 12th overall to file with the FEC.
“I am the daughter and granddaughter of working-class Italian and Cuban immigrants,” Caruso-Cabrera told CNBC in a statement. “I am so lucky to have had such a wonderful career, and I want everybody to have the opportunity that I’ve had. That’s why I’m running.”
CNBC said Caruso-Cabrera will take a leave of absence from the contributor role she has held at the network since she left in 2018.
Ocasio-Cortez, 30, is the youngest woman elected to Congress. She has become a polarizing figure since her upset win over 10-term incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley in the 2018 primary.
A self-described democratic socialist, Ocasio-Cortez quickly became a target for conservatives as one of the faces of the Green New Deal and an advocate for big government proposals such as Medicare for All. She has had public disagreements with Democratic Party leadership, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
CNBC reported that Caruso-Cabrera has been a registered Democrat “for several years.”
In her 2010 book, “You Know I’m Right: More Prosperity, Less Government,” she described herself as a fiscal conservative and social liberal who was “part of a new and growing crowd of ‘sort-of’ Republicans.” She said Ronald Reagan was her favorite president, followed by Bill Clinton.
“I am too fiscally responsible to want to reach out and hug the Democrats. Their social spending will keep the next several generations laden with debt,” she wrote. “At the same time, I am too fiercely independent to embrace the Republican Party, because I want people to be free to make their choices about their personal lives.”
Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign did not immediately reply to USA TODAY’s request for comment on her latest challenger.