Congressional Race Limbo

NY-14: Ruth Papazian Resorts to Character Attacks Against Opponent John Cummings

John Cummings is a new candidate in New York City, currently a High School Civics teacher, and retired New York City Police officer. He has decided to run against the incumbent, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (AOC), for NY-14 House of Representatives. In New York City, there is a single party – the Democrat Party. The Republican Party has been a footnote for many years.

Cummings, a fresh face on the scene, is determined to change that.  He has been building the new Republican brand for New York. His opponent has decided to increase her visibility by making scurrilous accusations about Cummings. My friendship with Cummings goes back 45 years, as the first person I met in High school.

Many of his friends, including myself, have known him to be a man of integrity. He has always operated in the best interests of those around him. In full disclosure, I consulted with Cummings early on and helped him set up his campaign technology as a friend of the campaign.  This is just the latest part of his story.

Identity Politics Hides a Bigger Problem

People despise destructive politics, especially identity politics. They hate when candidates use race, sex, religion, or any other form of personal identity, to make themselves bigger or more important than who they are. That is precisely how Ruth Papazian portrays herself. Searching her webpage, I found that her candidacy is based upon the following points:

  1. She is a multicultural woman of immigrants
  2. Worked herself through college
  3. A career medical  writer and editor
  4. Managed a public health project, which which saved many lives

Currently, Papazian has turned her anger toward the NY GOP’s recent endorsement of Cummings ( I am not a fan of the NY GOP from previous articles). She has decided to sow internal dissension, focused on the Cummings campaign, instead of looking inward at her own inadequacies as a candidate. It s not hard to understand why. Papazian has not been able to muster any kind of campaign footing or following.

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According to FEC filings, she has only raised 1% of what Cummings has raised in the same period, and 2% of his closest challenger. It is an election that is estimated will require at least $2 Million to participate. As well as taking on the loudest voice in the Democrat Party (AOC). One thing is certain, NY City got this selection correct. The NY GOP (the Bronx and Queens Boro Presidents, and NY STATE Chairmen – as well as the Conservative Party Chair) have all endorsed Cummings as the overall best candidate to beat AOC.

Papazian disagrees. She feels that mustering grassroots support, and campaign financing take a backseat to her status as a woman. It is not that John is just unqualified – he is an “Old White Guy”. He is part of the “Good Boys Network” and unlike her is unable to compete with AOC’s rhetoric. She blames the NY GOP for not creating a platform for her to debate Cummings. Despite campaigning for over a year, she has failed to muster any kind of grassroots support. She has accused Cummings of not wanting to debate her, while John has agreed to appear every time he has been requested.

Cumming’s Unique Background / Papazian’s Sour Grapes

Cummings is a former decorated NYC police officer injured in the Line of duty. Physically unable to continue due to injuries, he was forced to retire. He returned to college to earn his undergraduate degree at Fordham University in the Bronx. After graduating, Cummings decided that he wanted to mold the minds of our youth and returned to his alma mater.

This has been good news for St. Raymond’s Boys High School. He also started broadcasting games for the Fairfield University’s Women’s Basketball team. Cummings has spent his whole life either living and/or working in NY District 14, serving his neighbors. He knows the neighborhood and it’s issues well.

Papazian put down Cumming’s distinct Law enforcement achievements. She went so far as accusing him with a negative relationship to “stop and frisk” as a NYC Police Officer. Afterward, she doubled down on her accusations in a Facebook post, accusing John of nefarious activities in his fundraising and spending. An accusation of campaign wrongdoing, All without any proof.

“The GOP had ONE JOB: Run a candidate against AOC who could not be demonized as a sexist, racist, xenophobe or jackbooted enforcer of neo-colonial racist policies like stop-and-frisk that victimized my own family. Instead of endorsing the candidate who would be most competitive against AOC, GOP endorsed the one who raised the most money — and spent most of it on G-d knows what.”

Ruth Papazian, Candidate for NY-14

You can just hear her saying these words verbatim in that annoying vocal fry of hers (trust me)! Papazian has failed to recognize her own inabilities as a candidate. Instead of focusing on her opponent’s capabilities as a reason for his selection, she claims that he hadn’t earned the right to be the Republican candidate. Despite her intelligence and her identity as a woman running for office, Papazian has not gained any kind of support to even think about competing against AOC.

A Fresh Grass Roots Candidate. The Compelling Story of John Cummings

I have followed Cummings’ candidacy since he announced his run. He came from humble beginnings. Growing up in the Parkchester apartments in the Bronx, he is the son of a former NYC police officer. His mother worked at Macy’s to make extra money. As he said: “We weren’t poor growing up, but we certainly weren’t rich either – who cared, our parents loved us!”

He was a product of the turbulent times of the 1960s and 1970s. After his forced retirement from the NYC police department, he set sights on ways to continue to put back to the community. A neighborhood that he and his father had served for over a combined 75 years. Cummings has been teaching Civics (Government) and History for the last 22 years.

He teaches to diverse, multicultural students at his alma mater. He has unceremoniously been molding and shaping the lives of the next generation. Like most teachers, he is not in it for accolades. John does it for the love of his profession and mostly for his students.

Passing on Wisdom to the Next Generation

I have spoken to and interviewed his students. I met many of them during my yearly trips to St. Raymond’s for career day. His students revere him, and many credit their success in their lives directly to his influence. He has worked with young parents to ensure that their kids stayed in school. He also has worked directly with the Dean of Fairfield University, where he has been broadcasting women’s basketball.

Cummings encouraged the University to institute both full and partial scholarships to the students of St. Raymond’s, knowing the product of the school was exceptional. Despite its location in one of the poorest neighborhoods of New York City, the results are astounding! Graduation rates of the St. Raymond’s students are among the University’s best. They came prepared for college at a Top University. 

Many of these students have gone on to meaningful lives and careers because of Cummings’s influence. His pride when he speaks of their accomplishments shows on his face- every time he speaks of them. Cummings’ story was compelling enough that a grassroots campaign was started in July. He appeared on Fox and Friends, and local broadcasts. 

It took off from there.  His donations came from within and outside the city, His local fundraiser generated several thousands of dollars. In October, many of his friends donated their talents for a night of music and fun. In six months of his campaign, he has raised over $1 Million. ALL without ANY assistance or support from the NY GOP. John proved he was ready for the fight against AOC.

Ruth Criticizes a Fellow GOP Candidate

Why Papazian chose to criticize Cummings, and to single him out, is a mystery. She believes that her qualifications alone, as a woman and having her health care background are enough. She claims that John simply cannot compete with her, or with AOC. All because he can’t relate to the diverse culture in the neighborhood, which he has been a part of his whole life.

She refuses to acknowledge his obvious advantages as a teacher to diverse students and families. Cummings can’t win because he belongs to the “good old boys club. Also because he is not a woman. He simply is not diverse enough to be understood by them (ps: Cummings speaks fluent Spanish). He is simply an “Old white guy”.

The advantage of being a multicultural woman who is the first member of her family born in the US is that I won’t have to pull my punches, so the media doesn’t cast me as a bully, sexist, racist, and the rest of the litany.

Ruth Papazian, Candidate NY-14

The Difference Between Papazian and Cummings – Why He Will Win!

Cummings’ campaign is real, and Papazian’s has never gotten off the ground. Unfortunately, to be a successful candidate requires an understanding of how to present yourself to the public, as well as how to fund-raise. Papazian hasn’t mastered either. I asked Papazian to list a single example of sacrifice to the community, and she would not provide a single instance. Rather, she has decided that her persona should be all that is necessary.

She feels that she should have the endorsements that John had worked hard to receive. Her only requirement should be that she is a multicultural woman, with a healthcare background. Ruth never acknowledges her own disadvantages. All while providing ammunition to AOC for the general election. Cummings has remained silent through all of this.

He believes that Papazian does not have the votes to beat him in a primary. Therefore, he feels there is no advantage to engage her rhetoric. It must hurt him to be portrayed so negatively by someone in his own party. This is something he would never do.

It is a common problem for Republicans, to eat their own. This is a prime example of it. The big battle will come in November. Cummings has set his sights on winning the primary and defeating AOC. As he said during my exclusive interview, I CAN WIN!

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Author Profile

Frank D'Onofrio
Frank D'Onofrio
Frank D'Onofrio is a writer for NRN. He's is a passionate patriot. D'Onofrio has been a technology manager for over 25 years, and has traveled the world. He believes in the future of America. He believes our children should be taught to believe in American exceptionalism, that comes from our founders, and those who fought and died to maintain our freedoms.