US Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez turned tail on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue to avoid a potential Republican challenger as they both marched in the National Puerto Rican Day Parade on Sunday, her political opponent said.
Talk-radio producer Rich Valdes told The Post that he tried to challenge the freshman Democratic congresswoman to a debate on the merits of capitalism versus socialism when he spotted her near West 47th Street.
But Ocasio-Cortez “cut her handshaking short, jerked her hand back and jetted to the other side of the street,” Valdes said.
“She literally ran!” he said.
“I thought this was a good time to try and get a response but I honestly only saw the back of her head as she trotted across the street.”
Sliwa’s wife, lawyer Nancy Sliwa, also snapped photos that show Valdes walking several steps behind Ocasio-Cortez, then facing the camera with a look of exasperation.
On Thursday, Valdes told members of the Queens Village Republican Club that he would move from New Jersey to Ocasio-Cortez’ district, which covers parts of The Bronx and Queens, in an effort to unseat her.
Ocasio-Cortez’s spokesman, Corbin Trent, denied that she ran away from Valdes.
“She kept walking! The parade moved! It’s a procession! Give me a break,” he said.
Trent said that Ocasio-Cortez “doesn’t owe anybody a debate,” and said of Valdes: “Tell him to run for office and she’ll debate him.”
Trent also wished Valdes “good luck” in trying to oust his high-profile boss, who boasts more than 4.3 million Twitter followers.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) — who’s serving her 17th term in Congress — has fewer than 2.6 million followers.
*see full story by the New York Post