Republican Desi Cuellar, a once-homeless bartender, to challenge AOC in 2022

Republican Desi Cuellar — who, like AOC, is an ex-bartender and when jobs dried up in 2018, he spent five months homeless — formed a campaign committee in June to challenge the congresswoman, and this week launched his first ad.

“I was born & raised in Queens. As a New Yorker, I’m sick and tired of seeing AOC use our city as a launching pad for her socialist agenda. I’m running for Congress in NY-14 to stop her. I am proof that opportunity exists for anyone in this country, that America is worth fighting for, that our values and our constitutional rights set us apart from the rest of the world,” Cuellar says in the ad. “But my opponent AOC is doing everything she can to undo what countless Americans have died to preserve. My family fled Cuba to escape socialism.”

Despite being just months into the race, the candidate says he’s already banked about $60,000 and held meetings with local GOP politicians — including Bronx Conservative Party leader Patrick McManus, who met with Cuellar on Friday. “He seems like he would be a positive thing comparatively to our current congresswoman,” McManus said, adding that another meeting with Cuellar was likely.

“AOC is running and propagating so many leftist policies and it has forced me to feel like I have to do something because I don’t see anyone else doing anything about it in my area,” Cuellar, 34, told The Post. Cuellar enlisted in the New York Army National Guard in 2015 and left active service this year in order to launch his campaign [The Florida Post].



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