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Candidates on both sides look to cash in on hype surrounding liberal star Ocasio-Cortez

Other candidates, both Republican and Democrat, are using Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's fame for their own financial benefit. (Scott Heins/Getty Images)

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat running for Congress in New York, may be the hottest name in politics right now, and now other candidates are using that fame for their own financial benefit, The Hill reported.

On the Democratic side, Brent Welder, who is running for the House in Kansas, held a rally attended by Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Since then, his fundraising has exploded.

How much has he raised?

In the week since the rally, Welder has raised $110,000 -- which, according to The Hill, is an eight-fold increase in fundraising.

Ocasio-Cortez, 28, said she supported Welder's campaign because of the importance of pushing progressive values in conservative areas of the country.

"This national campaign isn't just about showing that progressive values can win in other parts of the country — but that an unapologetically progressive platform that combats the influence of corporate money in our political system is the key to winning in these swing districts," Ocasio-Cortez said in a statement.

Welder is a former Barack Obama and Sanders campaign organizer who is running in the Democratic primary to replace Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.).

And on the Republican side?

Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) is in a highly publicized back-and-forth with Ocasio-Cortez over a comment in which DeSantis referred to the New York Democrat as "this girl Ocasio-Cortez or whatever she is."

Ocasio-Cortez took offense, accusing DeSantis of being "confused as to 'whatever I am,'" and insinuating that Puerto Rican residents of Florida might not be pleased with the way he spoke about her.

DeSantis has included a reference to the conflict in a recent fundraising email, saying that Ocasio-Cortez's "attacks are political correctness run amok."

"Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the new socialist face of the Democrat Party, is accusing me of having a problem with her personal identity," the email reads. "No. I have a problem with her socialist policies."


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