• New York's Democratic primary is June 23
  • Michelle Caruso-Cabrera is her challenger, a former Republican and CNBC anchor
  • Campaign disclosures reveal her challenger is backed by many Wall Street CEOs

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., has spent much of her first term in Congress challenging Wall Street’s power in Washington D.C., and she is now facing a primary challenger on June 23 backed by major financial interests. At least two dozen finance industry professionals, including several prominent private-equity executives and investment bankers, made early donations to Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, a former CNBC contributor who is challenging Ocasio-Cortez, The Intercept reported.

Caruso-Cabrera, a registered Republican until a few years ago, has written a 2010 book titled “More Property, Less Government” that advocated for very conservative positions like ending Medicare and Social Security completely, two programs that she referred to as “Ponzi schemes.” Filings show that Caruso-Cabrera’s Democratic primary campaign is funded by Glenn Hutchins, the billionaire co-founder of Silver Lake Partners; James Passin of Firebird Capital; Bruce Schnitzer of Wand Partners; Jeffrey Rosen of Lazard; and Bradley Seaman, managing partner of Parallel49 Equity.

During Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s brief time in Congress, she has proved to be a thorn in the side of Wall Street. One of her more famous interrogations came when she asked JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon if bankers should have gone to jail over their role in the 2008 crisis, wondering if “fines related to misconduct [are] being incorporated into the cost of doing business.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. AFP / MANDEL NGAN

In a hearing titled “America for Sale?” last year, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez took aim at private equity firms, saying that “a lot of the initial questions” discussed at the hearing “almost betray the priorities that we have had in our economy that have eroded people's quality of life. Because the first question that I hear from so many members is 'how are the returns?' I wasn't sent here to safeguard and protect profit, I was sent here to safeguard and protect people.”

Caruso-Cabrera’s campaign website lacks any specific description of her policy positions, and the little information that voters have to learn about her political beliefs can be gleaned from her 2010 book, and recent radio interviews with outlets like New York’s AM 970 where she stated: “I’m pro-choice, I’m pro-same-sex marriage, I’m very pro-immigrant, I am centrist for sure.”