(PatriotWise.com)- A former aide to progressive Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is running for the state Legislature in New York.
Johnathan Soto, who once worked for AOC’s campaign, is looking to oust a moderate Democrat in the Bronx. He’ll be running against Michael Benedetto, who is a veteran of the state Legislature, in the Democratic primary that will take place on June 28.
Soto is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, just like AOC. He recently told The New York Post that he is seeking the endorsement of AOC, and it’s likely to come at some point before the election.
To this point, Soto already has the support of the Courage to Change PAC, which works for AOC, as well as the Working Families Party.
Soto is ultra-left on the political spectrum, supporting progressive policies such as Defund the Police as well as the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel. He’s also against tightening the law that runs no-cash bail, and wants the mayor to no longer have control over the city’s public school system.
He’s also been very critical of Eric Adams, the relatively new mayor of NYC. In a recent interview he gave on Instagram with Kristin Richardson, a councilwoman from Harlem, he said:
“This mayor is Trump 2.0. There is no if, and or buts about it.”
He is the son of Pentecostal ministers and has worked in religious-based policies before. Under former NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, he oversaw the faith-based program, and he managed the Homework Helpers Program for the AOC campaign.
In recent interviews, he’s said that he believes resources at the city should be directed to crime prevention programs and youth programs, saying policy budgets right now are “too high.”
Benedetto has been representing the 82nd Assembly District in New York since 2005. It’s considered one of the most moderate or even conservative districts in the Bronx.
The district, though, also overlaps with three congressional districts, two of which are represented by members of “The Squad” in the House — AOC and Jamaal Brown.
While Soto obviously has past ties to AOC, he has admitted in interviews that he hasn’t met her since she was elected back in 2018.
For his part, Benedetto is saying that Soto is way too far left. He says that will work against his challenger, as the district has one of the highest percentage of residents who have ties to law enforcement in the entirety of New York City.
Benedetto also has the luxury of being a close ally of Carl Heastie, who’s the Assembly Speaker in New York.
As Benedetto commented:
“We’re dealing with an increase in crime. I don’t know why you would want to defund the police.”
The veteran assemblyman also blasted Soto for supporting the BDS movement, which targets Israel. He commented:
“Israel is our most important ally in that part of the world. The people who want to disinvest from Israel are out of touch.”
That seems to be a very common phrase that applies well to Soto and many far-left progressive Democrats.