Scherie Murray, 38, a businesswoman, has announced that she is running for Congress in 2020 as a Republican against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
In the announcement on Twitter, Murray accused Ocasio-Cortez of caring more about seeking “celebrity and publicity” than representing New York’s 14th district. Murray wrote, “There’s a crisis in Queens and it’s called AOC. She isn’t worried about us – she’s worried about being famous.”
Murray was an immigrant from Jamaica. She started her own company with the aim of advancing opportunities for minority groups in New York City.
Heavy has reached out to Murray’s campaign twice for an interview. Her team has not yet accepted.
Here’s what you need to know about Scherie Murray.
1. Scherie Murray Says She Would Focus On Job Creation as a Member of Congress
In announcing her candidacy, Scherie Murray focused on job creation and criticizing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Murray told Fox News in a phone interview that she feels Ocasio-Cortez is not doing enough to make sure people in the district have access to well-paying jobs. Murray has called the proposed Green New Deal a “job-killing” idea.
Murray also slammed Ocasio-Cortez for “killing the Amazon New York deal.” (Amazon had planned to build a second headquarters in Long Island City in Queens but canceled the plan amid backlash from some lawmakers and union leaders, mainly over tax incentives the city had offered to the company).
In her campaign video, Murray referenced the Amazon deal by stating, “Queens and the Bronx needs someone who will create jobs instead of turning them away.” Murray repeatedly referenced bridges and stated that she has always been willing to work with people of different backgrounds and political parties.
2. Murray Previously Ran For the New York State Assembly in 2015
Scherie Murray did not explicitly mention her past political work in the campaign announcement video or on her website. According to Fox News, Murray previously served on the New York Republican State Committee.
Murray 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. Murray earned just about 7 percent of the vote.
That election is an example of how difficult it is for a Republican to gain ground in New York City. New York’s 14th congressional district, the seat currently held by Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, has been represented by Democrats since 1993. The last Republican to serve in that seat was Rep. Susan Molinari.
3. Murray Launched Her Company in 2004
Scherie Murray became a business owner in 2004 when she launched the Esemel Group. It was a television production and advertising company. She explained on her campaign website that the intended mission was to “address the lack of minorities in media” and create employment opportunities.
Murray told Fox News that she stepped away from the company to focus on raising her children. The Esemel Group does not appear to be registered with the New York Department of State, based on a search of online records.
4. Scherie Murray Was Born in Jamaica & Moved to the United States When She Was a Child
Scherie Murray shared on her campaign website that she was born in Jamaica. She immigrated to the United States with her parents when she was 9-years-old.
The family settled in southeast Queens in New York City. A search of online records shows that Murray was granted a Social Security number in New York State in either 1990 or 1991, when she would have been 10 or 11.
Murray was the captain of her high school gymnastics team. She graduated from the Law, Government and Community Service Magnet High School in Cambria Heights, Queens. Murray says that during college, she stayed involved in gymnastics by coaching at an after-school program in Far Rockaway, Queens.
5. Murray Began Working For the NYC Metropolitan Transporation Authority as a Teenager
Scherie Murray had her first experience working for a public service agency at age 17. She interned for the New York City MTA Jamaica Bus Depot as a systems analyst.
Murray shared in her announcement that she attended college through the city university system in NYC. She earned an Associate Degree in Micro Computer Business Systems and a bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism.
Murray said she also served as an editor of the college newspaper the New Tech Times as a student.