10 Things To Know About The Caribbean Immigrant Republican Seeking To Challenge AOC

SCHERIE-MURRAY-JAMAICAN
Scherie Murray, 3rd from right, at the 25th anniversary of Team Jamaica Bickle in NY this April 2019.
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News Americas, WASHINGTON, Thurs. July 18, 2019:  On Wednesday, July 17th, many Caribbean Americans expressed disgust and dismay at the announcement nationally by a Caribbean immigrant from Queens, NY that she will be challenging vigilant Puerto Rico roots Congresswoman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, otherwise known as AOC, on the Republican Party line in 2020.

Thirty-eight-year-old Jamaican-born immigrant Scherie Murray, who has had two failed attempts at elected office, quickly gained national news coverage and began trending on Twitter Wednesday. But does the Republican challenger of the Democratic Party rising star even live in the 14th congressional district?

New Americas research shows Murray lives in Rosedale in Southeast, Queens, where she and her family migrated to at age 9 from Jamaica. However, the 14th congressional district of New York includes the eastern part of The Bronx and part of north-central Queens. The Queens portion includes the neighborhoods of Astoria, College Point, Corona, East Elmhurst, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, and Woodside, none of which are Southeast, Queens. The Bronx portion of the district includes the neighborhoods of City Island, Country Club, Van Nest, Morris Park, Parkchester, Pelham Bay, Schuylerville, and Throggs Neck.

The district is also a Democratic stronghold that is almost 50 percent Hispanic, 16 percent Asian, 11 plus percent black and 18 percent White. President Obama and Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton both carried the district in past elections by huge margins.

It is unclear how exactly Murray will qualify to run in a district she has never lived in but here’s what you need to know about this immigrant Republican congressional wannabe:

1: She is 38 years old and grew up in Southeast Queens, NY from age 9, after arriving with her family from the Caribbean nation of Jamaica.

2: Murray says she became a gymnast and attended I.S. 192 and later graduated from the Law, Government and Community Service Magnet High School in Cambria Heights, Queens and at age 17, interned for the New York City MTA Jamaica Bus Depot as a systems analyst. She attended college through the city university system in NYC, earning an Associate Degree in Micro Computer Business Systems and a bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism.

3: She says she became a business owner in 2004 when she launched the Esemel Group, which is promoted as a television production and advertising company” with the intended mission to “address the lack of minorities in media” and create employment opportunities.

4: Murray first entered politics in 2009, when she unsuccessfully ran to represent the 31st City Council District against James Sanders.

5: She was elected to the New York Republican State Committee in 2013 as District Leader and State Committee Woman of the 29th Assembly District in Queens, N.Y.

6: Murray then ran for the New York State Assembly in 2015 as a candidate for District 29. According to Ballotpedia, Murray lost the election to Democrat Alicia Hyndman in a landslide, earning just about 7 percent of the vote.

7: She has said in the past, including on Irie Jam’s Moving Forward radio program with Irwine Clare in NYC on Nov. 9, 2016, that she believes the Caribbean needs to be represented on the other side of the political aisle. The public endorsement of Donald Trump earned her a feature as one of Trump’s ‘Caribbean Deplorables’ by News Americas.

8: In March 2019, Murray served as host of Whatz Up TV NY as it covered the first Buju Banton concert performance in Kingston, Jamaica following the Jamaican reggae singer’s release from a U.S. jail. See video here.

9: In April, Murray was among the supporters and volunteers of Team Jamaica Bickle, as the NY-based Caribbean Diaspora organization that supports Caribbean athletes participating at the annual Penn Relays, celebrated its 25th anniversary celebration.  

10: In the announcement to run against AOC in 2020 on the day after a House vote on Donald Trump’s “racist” tweets and in a week that saw the President attack four congressional female members of color, Murray said on Twitter on July 17, 2019, that Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez cares more about seeking “celebrity and publicity” than representing New York’s 14th district.

“Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez isn’t worried about us. She’s worried about being famous. It’s time to rid NYC of AOC!,” the home page of her campaign website, that has just an About Us and a Donate section, screams.

She launched her campaign with a video entitled “Bridges.” “Bridges, they fill our skyline. Rising above our city, their arches are more than stone and steel,” Murray says in the polished video. “They connect us, they help us move forward, and cross from place to place. That’s why we build bridges, to be connected to one another.”

“But your representative in Washington chooses self-promotion over service, conflict over constituents, resistance over assistance,” Murray added. Last night on Irie Jam, Moving Forward host, Irwine Clare, questioned whether Murray is guilty of the same.

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