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The Republican challenger to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., dropped out of the race Monday, citing New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo‘s executive orders amid the coronavirus pandemic and issues with qualifying for the state’s upcoming Republican primary election.
“Governor Cuomo’s undemocratic Executive Orders overthrew New York’s electoral process. The right to access the ballot, freedom of association as a member of a political party, the exchange of ideas and free speech are so sacred that the Founding Fathers made it the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States,” Scherie Murray, a Jamaican immigrant and businesswoman, said in a statement.
“As long as avowed socialists are legislators, you can rest assured I will use my platform to advocate for the kitchen table issues of the toughest, hardest working New Yorkers,” she added. “This is not the end for Scherie Murray because I will continue to work hard.”
Murray recently filed a lawsuit against a vendor hired to elicit signatures on her behalf to get her name on the GOP primary ballot. She said the contractor was hired in good faith but “violated New York State election laws” and “ultimately prevented Murray from qualifying to be on the Republican Primary ballot.”
She is pursuing legal action to ensure no other candidate is likewise to be taken advantage of, she said. New York is slated to hold its primary elections on June 23.
The lawsuit alleges that the vendor used a registered Democrat to be the “subscribing witness” for Murray’s petition. Under New York law, the subscribing witness must be a Republican in order to get on the GOP primary ballot, the New York Daily News reported.
Ocasio-Cortez faces several Democratic primary challengers. The freshman lawmaker beat longtime Democratic Rep. Joseph Crowley in 2018. With the win, she became the youngest woman elected to Congress and has since become a progressive firebrand within her party.