US Congress AOC invited by Virginia GOP House hopeful to campaign for Dem incumbent Spanberger Virginia GOP candidate Robert Casteel invited Alexandria Democrat AOC to visit him in his district for an event held by one of his supporters A Democratic party member visits a polling station in the Democratic candidate Jim McGovern’s district of Massachusetts on November 6, 2016. Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images
The congressional candidate who lost to top House Democrat Jim McGovern in the Massachusetts district recently made waves with his campaign announcement that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democratic Socialist elected to Congress in New York in June, had accepted an invitation to his Virginia district.
McGovern told BuzzFeed News in a Monday interview that the Virginia GOP candidate, Robert Casteel, had reached out to Ocasio-Cortez.
“She was very gracious. I’m always happy to have anyone from the political left come and visit people in the district who are part of that political organization,” McGovern said. “They tend to be more politically driven than some of the establishment Democrats in my district, so it always energizes them.”
McGovern’s Massachusetts district runs along Interstate 95, allowing state constituents access to political events and media outlets in Washington, D.C. Residents in McGovern’s district should be exposed to a variety of political ideas and be able to carry themselves with distinction on election day, he told BuzzFeed.
“The challenge is just getting folks up in Boston to understand what’s going on up in Central Massachusetts,” he said. “Certainly people in East Cambridge and Cambridge itself, that’s a very blue district, but people on I-95 are well outside of that, it’s a fairly conservative region.”
A district map in the election coverage site Voter.com, from October 20th, shows the District of Columbia and all surrounding states voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton, while Massachusetts voted overwhelmingly for Republican Donald Trump. It should be noted that some cities, including Boston and Cambridge, are actually within McGovern’s district, which borders its border on Massachusetts.
McGovern told the Bangor Daily News that if Casteel agreed to a debate, he would prefer to debate the candidate in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A Democratic Party member from Portsmouth told the newspaper the candidate did not think “Ms Ocasio-Cortez was the type of person to campaign for him in his district,” which goes against what Ocasio-Cortez has said about her endorsement of candidates.
A representative for Casteel’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.
This article was reported in collaboration with the Guardian.