Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) was stunningly defeated in last month's Democratic primary in New York by progressive phenom Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. At the time, he put on a good face, even playing "Born to Run" for her after she'd sealed the spot. But things might not be so friendly beyond the Bruce Springsteen covers, and now Ocasio-Cortez is accusing Crowley of mounting a third-party challenge against her:
.@repjoecrowley stated on live TV that he would absolutely support my candidacy.
Instead, he’s stood me up for all 3 scheduled concession calls.
Now, he’s mounting a 3rd party challenge against me and the Democratic Party- and against the will of @NYWFP.https://t.co/Xvb6Jk8N8q
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) July 12, 2018
New York has a quirky third-party system, which can allow unsuccessful major party candidates like Crowley to be the nominee for a smaller party and therefore still appear on the general election ballot. This was most recently highlighted by Ocasio-Cortez winning a district she didn't even run in as a write-in for the Reform Party. Likewise, Crowley won the Working Families Party line in New York's 14th District, where he lost the Democratic nomination to Ocasio-Cortez.
It had been expected that Crowley would vacate the spot and support his fellow Democrat in the race:
Bill Lipton, state director of the Working Families Party, said he immediately reached out to Mr. Crowley's campaign to request that he vacate the line.
To Mr. Lipton's chagrin, his campaign declined; Mr. Crowley will remain on the ballot in November. "You'd think that given the moment we're in," said Mr. Lipton, "that Democratic leaders would want to help progressive forces to unite." [The New York Times]
Crowley's campaign sidestepped a question about why they are remaining on the ballot. "Joe Crowley is a Democrat," a spokeswoman told the Times. "He's made clear he is not running for Congress and supports the Democratic nominee in NY-14."
Update 9:51: Crowley responded to Ocasio-Cortez's accusation on Twitter, writing: "Alexandria, the race is over and Democrats need to come together. I've made my support for you clear and the fact that I'm not running. We've scheduled phone calls and your team has not followed through. I'd like to connect but I'm not willing to air grievances on Twitter." Jeva Lange