Badrun Khan to challenge Ocasio-Cortez in Democratic primary

A local activist in Queens announced a primary challenge against New York progressive heavyweight Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezGoya CEO dismisses critics for praise of Trump: 'I'm not apologizing' Trump tweets his support for Goya Foods amid boycott Hispanic Caucus requests meeting with private detention center CEOs MORE (D) on Wednesday.

Badrun Khan, whose website describes her as an activist who has “spent her entire life fighting for justice, equality and fairness in her community,” says she is fighting for “REAL Results... Not Empty Promises,” suggesting how she views Ocasio-Cortez’s progressive platform.

ADVERTISEMENT

Khan lists a handful of policy positions on her website but doesn't touch on top progressive priorities.

She favors expanding Social Security and Medicare benefits and ensuring health care “is made available for all and that those who have existing coverage can choose to keep what they currently have.” She stops short of declaring support for any variant of “Medicare for All.”

But Khan voiced support for a lobbying ban on former members of Congress that has gained popularity among Democrats.

The daughter of Bengali immigrants, Khan says she seeks to be a “uniter” who can “build bridges so that no community, regardless of their ethnicity or religion will ever be left behind.”

But Khan, who officially filed her candidacy in July, will face an uphill battle against Ocasio-Cortez, who has shot to national prominence and wields a formidable grassroots following online.

Ocasio-Cortez responded to Khan's candidacy on Wednesday by saying, “I just focus on delivering for my district and doing the best job. I try not to focus too much on other folks in the field.”

Ocasio-Cortez’s hard-charging style and threats to support primaries against centrist members of Congress have strained her relationships with some Democrats.

She has reportedly considered backing a primary challenger to Rep. Hakeem JeffriesHakeem Sekou JeffriesReparations bill gains steam following death of George Floyd Karen Bass's star rises after leading police reform push The Hill's 12:30 Report: Supreme Court ruling marks big win for abortion rights groups MORE (N.Y.), the No. 4 House Democrat and a possible successor to Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiAs coronavirus surges, Trump tries to dismantle healthcare for millions Sunday shows preview: Coronavirus poses questions about school safety; Trump commutes Roger Stone sentence Pelosi plans legislation to limit pardons, commutations after Roger Stone move MORE (D-Calif.), and Rep. Henry Cuellar (Texas), who is considered one of the more conservative members of the House Democratic Caucus.

Ocasio-Cortez has already backed Marie Newman, who is taking on Rep. Daniel LipinskiDaniel William LipinskiHouse to pass sweeping police reform legislation Sanders raised over 0,000 for candidates in Tuesday primaries Engel scrambles to fend off primary challenge from left MORE (Ill.), one of the few House Democrats opposed to abortion.