Politics & Government

Republicans in Eastern NC special election find foe to run against: Ocasio-Cortez

Republican ads in NC 3rd District target NY freshman

Michele Nix, a former NC GOP party official, made representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez the focal point of her first TV ad in the North Carolina 3rd district primary.
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Michele Nix, a former NC GOP party official, made representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez the focal point of her first TV ad in the North Carolina 3rd district primary.

Republican candidates vying for the nomination in a crowded field in North Carolina’s 3rd Congressional District have found someone to run against — a freshman representative from New York.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a first-term lawmaker from the Bronx and frequent foil of conservatives, is at the forefront of an ad by Republican Michele Nix, a former state party official.

Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal — an environment and jobs program — also appeared in an ad from another of the 17 Republicans in the special election to replace the late Rep. Walter Jones in the U.S. House. The primary will be held April 30 and early voting begins April 10. There are also six Democrats, two Libertarians and one Constitution Party candidate in the race.

Nix’s ad, called “Bless Her Heart,” opens with Ocasio-Cortez’s name on the screen. It then cuts to multiple photos and videos of her.

“She has the media. She has the followers,” Nix says in the ad. “But bless her heart, she has some terrible ideas.”

Ocasio-Cortez, who upset a veteran Democrat in the 2018 primary in her blue district, has more than 3.16 million followers on her @AOC Twitter account. She introduced a Green New Deal resolution in Congress in February with 90 Democratic cosponsors, including North Carolina Reps. David Price and Alma Adams.

It calls for building resiliency against climate change-related disasters, overhauling the nation’s infrastructure and meeting the U.S. energy needs with 100 percent clean, renewable energy sources, among other priorities. Republicans have mocked the effort, with the Republican National Committee calling it a “socialist wish list” and allies of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConell saying, in a tweet, that a scheduled vote would find out “how many Democrats want to end air travel and cow farts.”

In her ad, Nix says the “Green Deal is a bad deal for North Carolina.”

“I’ll stand up to socialism. Congress needs a good, strong dose of conservative, mature common sense,” Nix says, an apparent reference to Ocasio-Cortez’s age. She is 29 and the youngest member of Congress. Nix, 53, is a married mother of five and grandmother of three.

Eric Rouse, one of 17 candidates vying for the Republican nomination in North Carolina’s 3rd Congressional District special election will begin airing television ads in the Greenville market on March 19, 2019.

In a commercial airing in the Greenville media market by Eric Rouse, a Lenoir County commissioner, “Green New Deal” is written on a clay disc that Rouse shoots down. He says President Donald Trump “needs help to shoot down these socialists’ radical agenda,” including the Green New Deal.

Gary Ceres, a Republican candidate from Greenville, dismissed the idea of government action to combat the effects of climate change.

“Climate change is cyclical and not man-made. I do not support any effort to decrease greenhouse gas emissions as they would be damaging to the economy as a whole and are completely unnecessary,” he wrote in response to a News & Observer questionnaire sent to candidates.

The 2018 National Climate Assessment produced by the U.S. government concluded that “Earth’s climate is now changing faster than at any point in the history of modern civilization, primarily as a result of human activities.” The report further found that “climate-related risks will continue to grow without additional action.” and that current actions do not “approach the scales needed to avoid substantial damage to the U.S. economy, environment, and human health and well-being over the coming decades.”

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