Former Banker Challenging Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in Democratic Primary

The 2018 election of Democratic New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Congress created significant political upheaval after she unseated veteran congressman Joe Crowley, who had been tapped at one point to replace Nancy Pelosi as Democratic leader of the House.

This summer, Marty Dolan, 66, a former Wall Street banker, is looking to do to Ocasio-Cortez what she did to Crowley.

Dolan spent 30 years working for Morgan Stanley, Jefferies Financial Group Inc., and other financial firms. She is challenging AOC for her 14th Congressional District seat in New York, a position she has held for six years — representing a district Dolan says she has done little to help improve.

If he is successful, it would be an intense blow to the Democratic Socialists of America, who have a significant foothold in the city, including northern Queens and the Bronx, which the District 14 seat covers.

However, Dolan says Ocasio-Cortez and her fellow socialists have gone too far, blasting their approach to crime, the illegal migrant crisis, and the economy.

“We are all for the ‘progress’ implied by the word progressive, however, within the progressive movement, there are radical whose influence on the Democratic Party is overweight,” wrote Dolan on his campaign website.

“The impact in NYC is obvious: bail reform a disaster, the National Guard in the subway, toothpaste locked up in drugstores but criminals running free, scarce resources directed to (non-sanctuary) immigrants coming from all over the world,” Dolan wrote.

He said these challenges must be addressed in the context of an out-of-control $34 trillion federal debt and the city’s 14% marginal tax rate.

“Losing 500,000 taxpayers is unsustainable: fixing this must be our overwhelming priority,” wrote Dolan. “The radicals can’t deliver more than breadcrumbs when they ignore that the primary breadwinners are leaving and brush off taxpayer concerns in favor of abstract populist ideologies. Enough is enough.”

Dolan is the first individual to challenge the “Squad” member in four years and looks to gather the signatures necessary to land a spot on the ballot for this year’s Democratic primary. 

It will be a massive effort to remove Ocasio-Cortez from office. She has pop culture fame and instant name recognition among young voters. She remains popular with her constituents, although Dolan says the popularity might not be as strong.

“There’s a lot of people who, even in Queens and the Bronx, think, ‘What has she done for us?’” said Dolan.

AOC has significant cash on hand compared to Dolan

According to Bloomberg, Ocasio-Cortez had $5.7 million cash on hand as of January 1, while Dolan’s campaign has only brought in $58,000, $55,000 of which is from loans Dolan made to his own campaign.

According to his website, Dolan received an MBA at Harvard Business School and has worked in the global risk insurance sector, helping firms recover from the World Trade Center attacks, Hurricane Katrina, the global liability crisis, and the global financial crisis.

Like Ocasio-Cortez, Dolan grew up in Westchester County.

Dolan pointed out, according to Bloomberg, Ocasio-Cortez’s efforts to successfully stop Amazon from locating a massive, sprawling headquarters in Long Island City, Queens, and her support for diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives (DEI).

He also accused Ocasio-Cortez of “importing immigrants and exporting decent contributing taxpayers,” referring to residents who have fled to other states. The city has cared for over 170,000 migrants, and the mayor estimates the bill will exceed $10 billion.

“There’s been nobody who’s more in favor of immigration than AOC, and there’s been no worse thing that’s happened in New York in the last year,” said Dolan.

Dolan’s platform includes plans to advocate for additional luxury goods sales and a federal value-added tax. The money would be used to reduce state pension liabilities and the national debt and would allow states like New York to decrease income taxes.