One of the first things I did in my campaign as a progressive Democrat for Florida’s 6th Congressional district was to write a letter to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s mother, Blanca Ocasio-Cortez (BOC). She lives in my district, in Eustis, FL, and will hopefully vote for me in the August 18, 2020 primary and November 3, 2020 general election. She discussed her move from New York and AOC’s rise to power in her March 2019 interview with the Daily Mail.
I did not hear back, but it was worth a shot.
I did not anticipate 3 months later that we would be in a global pandemic hitting the USA especially hard due to unparalleled incompetence of our executive branch of government, or putting modern monetary theory to the test with many trillions of dollars of stimulus spending and giveaways to real estate moguls and profligate corporations.
January 6, 2020
Dear Ms. Blanca Ocasio-Cortez,
Alexandria is an inspiration to many young people such as myself to run for office! I’d like to meet you. I’m running for Congress in your district and am focused on the climate crisis, among other issues that align with Democratic socialism. I’ve included an essay on how I woke up to become a Democrat and other information on my background and positions. I’m a husband, father to a 10-month-old boy, and teacher educator at University of Central Florida. I’m 28 years old as Alexandria was when she ran.
Although I am an unknown candidate, I have already received hate mail for supporting the Green New Deal, along with plenty of other derogatory messages, often completely devoid of facts. I can only imagine what your daughter goes through on a daily basis with her high profile and being a target of hatred for the alt-right.
I think 2020 is a critical year—even more than 2016. I read an article recently saying that if Trump wins another term, he will become even more deranged and dangerous. I have been meeting with local Democrats, who know that Florida is key, which is why Trump held his campaign launch here in Orlando and recently domiciled here. I am not just running for U.S. House, but also for whomever the Democratic nominee for president is.
My wife Kristy, I, and our son will also be visiting Washington, D.C. from February 2–7, 2020. I have never been before. We would love to meet Alexandria if she has the time. Congress is in session this week.
I just got off the phone with Nancy Soderberg, the 2018 Democratic candidate for our district. She raised $7 million (compared to my $0), but it wasn’t enough to win in a district that leans 7 percentage points Republican (but, the 6th is among the better Florida districts to run in!). Republican Trump toady Michael Waltz presently has no serious Democratic challenger except myself. People have given up, but it is exactly the wrong time to give up.
I look forward to hearing from you,
Richard Thripp, Ph.D.
Democratic Candidate for U.S. Congress (FL-06)
Adjunct Faculty, University of Central Florida