NEW YORK — The Democrats’ D.C. brawl is turning into a Queens street fight.
New York Rep. Greg Meeks warned fellow Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to back off on her racially tinged feud with Democratic leaders — or face a battle for her own political life.
“If they want to come after members of the Black Caucus, it’s two ways,” Meeks, who is also the Queens Democratic party boss, told The Hill.
The AOC-allied Justice Democrats announced it would target 10-term black Rep. Lacy Clay (D-Mo.) for a 2020 primary challenge.
The insurgent group has also made noises about taking on Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-Brooklyn), a member of the Democratic leadership team, and the unpopular Yvette Clarke (D-Brooklyn), who barely squeaked by a little known challenger in the same 2018 primaries that saw AOC stun longtime Rep. Joe Crowley in Queens.
The group is also backing a primary challenge to Eliot Engel (D-Bronx), a longtime moderate whose district is majority minority.
Meeks could also be a target after he backed establishment favorite Melinda Katz over leftist Tiffany Caban in the still-undecided Queens district attorney race.
“(They) seem to be targeting members of the Congressional Black Caucus, individuals who have stood and fought to make sure that African Americans are included and part of this process,” added Meeks, whose Jamaica-based district abuts AOC’s.
So far, no major Democratic challenger to Ocasio-Cortez has emerged for the 2020 race. Crowley, who joined a lobbying firm after being ousted from Congress, is still active in Queens politics. His cousin, Elizabeth Crowley, is a city councilwoman.
The nasty new salvo came amid a related firefight between Ocasio-Cortez and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The powerful Democratic boss warned AOC and her progressive “squad” of newly elected women to tone things down at a closed door meeting of the Democratic caucus in the House of Representatives on Wednesday.
AOC fired back at Pelosi for “singling out” women of color.
Establishment-backed black and Latino lawmakers are siding with Pelosi in the spat. They warned AOC against trying to “play the race card” against Democratic leaders like Pelosi.
One top Democratic aide trashed Ocasio-Cortez for only being a “woman of color when it’s convenient.”
“Her group is funded only by elitist white liberals. She’s a puppet,” the top Democratic aide said.
Justice Democrats say black and Latino lawmakers are more concerned with getting reelected than doing the right thing. They point out that Barack Obama started his career with an insurgent challenging veteran Rep. Bobby Rush in his south side Chicago district.
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