Candidate Cuellar joined the National Guard back in 2015, but left to pursue politics.
The 2022 campaign season has already begun for Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Republican Desi Kueller — who, like the AOC, is an ex-bartender — set up a campaign committee to challenge Congressmen in June, and this week launched her first assault ad.
Cuellar, 34, told The Post, “The AOC is driving and promoting a lot of left-wing policies and it has made me feel like I have to do something because I can’t tell someone else in my field about it. doesn’t see anything.”
Despite being only a few months into the race, the candidate says he has already banked about $60,000 and is holding meetings with local GOP polls – including Bronx Conservative Party leader Patrick McManus, who Met with Kueller on Friday.
“It looks like that would be a positive thing compared to our current Congress,” McManus said, adding that another meeting with Kueller was likely.
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His web ad speaks to his Cuban roots and working-class credentials, a strategy that has long worked for the AOC – the Puerto Rican daughter of the Westchester architect.
“I am proof that opportunity exists for anyone in this country, that America is worth fighting for, that our values and our constitutional rights set us apart from the rest of the world,” Kueller says in the ad. “But my rival AOC is doing everything that countless Americans have killed to preserve.”
The roughly two-minute space rests heavily on the personal story of Kueller, as the son of immigrants who fled the communist regime of Fidel Castro and his “hooligan squad” of Ocasio-Cortez and Democratic-Socialist congressional allies. “But hit hard.
“I’m here to tell the AOC that the party is over,” he says in Spanish.
Since moving to Queens in 2013, Kueller said she worked mostly in hospitality and when those jobs ended in 2018, she spent five months homeless.
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He still bears the scars of those days, including a back tax of more than $1,200 still owed to the state of New York, something he said he’s “working on.”
Recalling those days, he said, “It was a very difficult time for me. It was very difficult and uncomfortable and humiliating.”
Kueller joined the New York Army National Guard in 2015 and left active service this year to begin his campaign.