The Bronx is churning!
Councilman Fernando Cabrera — a top Democratic primary challenger to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s re-election bid — is dropping out of the race and instead running for borough president in a bid to save “the heart and soul” of the Bronx, The Post has learned.
Cabrera told The Post Sunday he would support former CNBC cable TV journalist Michelle Caruso-Cabrera in the primary as the moderate alternative against lefty firebrand AOC in the 14th Congressional District covering portions of the Bronx and Queens.
“While I was encouraged by the overwhelmingly positive response to my candidacy, it became increasingly apparent that Ms. Caruso and I would likely split the moderate vote, allowing Congresswoman Cortez to win. This effort to unite the Moderate Majority will, I believe, allow the residents of the 14th congressional to elect someone who will truly represent their interests and values,” Cabrera said.
“We are fighting for the heart and soul of The Bronx. AOC and the far left are trying to take over the party. We are not going to allow them to do that. AOC parachuted in from Yorktown Heights,” Cabrera said of Ocasio-Cortez’s being raised in nearby Westchester County. “She doesn’t speak to our values.“
Cabrera anticipates that AOC’s Justice Democrats and other progressive allies will back a rival contender.
In a statement, Caruso-Cabrera praised Cabrera’s decision to place “country ahead of personal ambition.”
Cabrera’s surprise move comes amid upheaval and a leadership vacuum in the Bronx Democratic Party, which is still grappling with AOC’s shocking primary upset of ex-Congressman Joe Crowley in 2018. A democratic socialist, Ocasio-Cortez has rocketed to stardom, becoming one of the most influential progressive politicians in the country as she runs for re-election.
Current Bronx borough president Ruben Diaz Jr., who is term-limited and was eyeing a run for mayor, recently abandoned his bid for City Hall.
Meanwhile Assemblyman Marcos Crespo, the current Bronx Democratic Party chairman, announced that he is not running for re-election to serve in Albany and is expected to relinquish his chairmanship.
Crespo was said to be eyeing a run for borough president before his bombshell announcement that he’s leaving politics. That has left an opening for Cabrera and others.
Cabrera said he is stepping into the leadership void and considers himself the front-runner to be the next Bronx borough president.
His City Council district includes Morris Heights, University Heights, Fordham and Kingsbridge. The 55-year-old is also a pastor at New Life Church.
He said he has the government and political experience to unite the borough and noted that crime and unemployment has plummeted during his tenure.
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