Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) “literally ran” away from potential Republican opponent Rich Valdes during a Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York City on Sunday.
Valdes, a talk radio producer, told The New York Post he tried to introduce himself to the congresswoman and invite her to a debate on capitalism vs. socialism but instead, she booked it.
In the spirit of “todos juntos” I tried to politely introduce myself to ?@RepAOC? at the Puerto Rican parade where we we both marching, hoping to invite her to debate the issues, but she ran away. ??????#NationalPuertoRicanDayParade #NYC ???????? https://t.co/URvkoG4uUu— Rich Valdes ???? (@RichValdes) June 9, 2019
According to Valdes, she “cut her handshaking short, jerked her hand back and jetted to the other side of the street.”
“She literally ran!” he added.
“I thought this was a good time to try and get a response but I honestly only saw the back of her head as she trotted across the street.”
Others witnessed the encounter as well.
Valdes’ account was echoed by Guardian Angels founder and radio host Curtis Sliwa, who said the incident unfolded when Valdes approached the progressive firebrand about 12:30 p.m.
“As soon as she saw him she did a pirouette — a spin — and she ran north on Fifth Avenue, ahead of her delegation, just to get away from Rich,” he said.
“I heard Rich yelling after her, ‘OK, AOC. You can run — but you can’t hide!'”
Sliwa’s wife, lawyer Nancy Sliwa, also snapped photos that show Valdes walking several steps behind Ocasio-Cortez, then facing the camera with a look of exasperation. (NY Post)
AOC’s spokesman Corbin Trent denied Valdes’s account of what happened, however.
“She kept walking! The parade moved! It’s a procession! Give me a break,” he said, the Post reports.
Valdes told members of the Queens Village Republican Club last week he'd move from New Jersey to AOC's district in an effort to unseat her.