By Emily Drooby
New York’s 14th Congressional District is where Republican challenger John Cummings grew up, had his first job, and has his current teaching job.
Now he’s fighting to represent the district in Congress by mounting a bid against its current representative, Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Cummings drew inspiration from the school he attended, where he now teaches.
“My students have been after me to run for many, many years,” explained the Saint Raymond Catholic High School Civics teacher, who used to think it was an unwinnable seat once held by Democratic powerhouse Joe Crowley.
“But then congresswoman, now Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez pretty much came out of nowhere and defeated him, so it was pointed out to me by my students that was a ‘pretty lame excuse,’ to use their terminology,” he said.
Cummings decided to hit the campaign trail, but the former NYPD officer knows he has a long road ahead.
First comes the Republican Primary with five other announced candidates, including Scherie Murray, who called Ocasio-Cortez a crisis for Queens. Ruth Papazian who blamed Ocasio-Cortez for killing the Amazon deal, is also in the running.
If Cummings takes the primary, he would then face off against Ocasio-Cortez, a formidable opponent.
In the last election she won over 78 percent of the votes, trouncing her two opponents.
Since winning, Ocasio-Cortez has made a name for herself nationally by promoting liberal causes and sparking disputes with more moderate Democrats in the House.
But Cummings, who has either lived or worked in the district his whole life, is ready for the fight.
“A very long time ago I was told, ‘God makes the plan, and we don’t get to see the plan,’” he recalled.
But with his Catholic faith and lengthy law enforcement and education backgrounds, John is ready to represent the people.
The Republican Primary election for this district will be held in June. The winner of that election will face off against Ocasio-Cortez in November of 2020.