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Eric Adams and AOC are fighting for the liberal soul of New York

In the upcoming Democratic primary on June 28, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is encouraging socialist rebels to run against veteran incumbents in the state Assembly. Mayor Eric Adams is using his political power to back these incumbents.

Adams backed the re-election of Harlem Assemblywoman Inez Dickens on Tuesday. Dickens was one of the first black lawmakers to ask for changes to the bail law that the mayor of Albany wanted.

In the 70th Assembly District, where incumbent Dickens is running, Ocasio-Cortez is supporting Delsenia Glover, a housing activist, over Dickens.

Adams is also going to be at a Juneteenth event in Co-Op City on Tuesday with veteran Bronx Assemblyman Michael Benedetto. He endorsed Benedetto last week.

AOC is supporting Jonathan Soto, a former member of her staff, in the 82nd Assembly District in the northeast Bronx, which is in the same area as her congressional district.

Sources in the political world say that Adams and AOC are in a proxy war over who runs the state legislature and the government of New York City: mainstream Democrats or socialists.

"Mayor Adams is very focused on public safety, and he backs mainstream Democrats who agree with him and support his plans. Consultant Jonathan Reinish, who used to work for US Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, said, "He's making it clear where he stands."

Adams endorsed Harlem Assemblywoman Inez Dickens in her primary against housing activist Delsenia Glover.
Adams endorsed Harlem Assemblywoman Inez Dickens in her primary against housing activist Delsenia Glover.
Twitter / @ericadamsfornyc

Adams showed up at Dickens' campaign headquarters in Harlem on Tuesday morning. There, she also got the blessing of a group of Baptist ministers.

"I'm happy to back my friend Inez Dickens for another term in office. "I have a lot of respect for Inez," Adams said in a campaign release for Dickens.

"Over the years, she has always been the same in how she represents Harlem and the people of our whole state. Albany needs an experienced leader like Inez Dickens to do everything that needs to be done for our city right now.

Dickens said, "I am so lucky that my ministers and the great mayor, Eric Adams, are backing my campaign for re-election. To get the resources our community needs and deserves, we must work together and agree on what we believe. I am committed to keeping my word and making Harlem stronger and more united."

Later, the assemblywoman told The Post that the upcoming primaries are, in fact, a political war between Adams and the Democrats and AOC and the socialists.

"From the start, Mayor Adams said that he is not a socialist. Dickens said, "He is a Democrat."

Dickens has spoken out against AOC and socialists in New York.
Dickens has spoken out against AOC and socialists in New York.
Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images

“We are Democrats! We are not socialists!,” Dickens said emphatically. “AOC and the socialists are trying to take over New York.”

The threat made by AOC against Dickens, who is 72, is not empty. Kristin Richardson, a Democrat and a socialist, was chosen to represent Harlem on the City Council last year.

Benedetto was happy that Adams was coming with him to the Juneteenth event in his district to celebrate the end of slavery. It is being held in the auditorium of Co-Op City, a complex of 35 high-rise apartments where most of the tenants are black working-class and middle-class people, a key group for the upcoming primary.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams arrives at the In America: An Anthology of Fashion themed Met Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, New York, U.S., May 2, 2022.
Adams donned a jacket saying “End gun violence” to the 2022 Met Gala.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 02: Mayor of New York City Eric Adams and Tracey Collins attend The 2022 Met Gala Celebrating "In America: An Anthology of Fashion" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 2, 2022 in New York City
Sources said Adams and AOC are engaged in a proxy war.
Gotham/Getty Images
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez attends The 2021 Met Gala Celebrating In America: A Lexicon Of Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on September 13, 2021 in New York City.
Ocasio-Cortez’s 2022 Met Gala dress said “Tax the rich.”
Getty Images For The Met Museum/

“AOC is with my opponent. They support the same things like defunding the police,” Benedetto said.

“Mayor Adams is making a statement that he wants level-headed Democrats to move New York City ahead. I share the same values as Mayor Adams. We want good education and safe streets,” added Benedetto.

Benedetto, who is a retired teacher and chairs the Assembly Education Committee, worked closely with Adams to make sure that a state law that gives the mayor the power to run the public schools in the city was renewed for two more years.    

Bronx Assemblyman Michael Benedetto said his primary opponent Jonathan Soto and AOC both support defunding the police.
Bronx Assemblyman Michael Benedetto said his primary opponent Jonathan Soto and AOC both support defunding the police.

Adams has made it clear that he doesn't like the socialist left.

Adams told people who were helping him raise money for his campaign last summer that he was in a fight with the Democratic Socialists of America. People think of Ocasio-Cortez as the young star leader of the DSA.

"I'm not running against other candidates anymore. I'm going against the flow. "DSA socialists are getting together all over the country to stop Eric Adams," he said at the time.

"They know that if I win, we'll start the process of taking back control of our cities."

Jonathan Soto, who ran against Benedetto and used to work for the AOC, said that Adams' support for the incumbent was not important.

"Our campaign is more about the policies than the people running for office. Soto said, "I'd like Mr. Benedetto to explain to voters why he agrees with the Mayor's plan to cut $250 million from our public schools."

"I'm proud to have the support of Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, two leaders who will fight for our children's future and against defunding our public schools."


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