August 22, 2019 | 11:56am | Updated August 22, 2019 | 10:06pm
A conservative young Latina from Illinois is running for Congress as the anti-AOC.
Republican Catalina Lauf, 26, who is hoping to snag a Democratic-held seat outside Chicago, supports President Trump’s border wall, cites Ronald Reagan as an idol and hopes to be a counterweight to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s congressional “Squad.”
If Lauf wins the seat, she would break the Bronx-Queens representative’s record as the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.
“I think it’s time that people step forward who want to unite the country and do it for the right reasons,” Lauf told The Post.
The self-described “lifelong conservative” on Tuesday announced she is running in the state’s 14th Congressional District west of the Windy City — and will be taking on incumbent Democrat Lauren Underwood.
Lauf is a former Trump administration adviser from Woodstock, Ill., who describes herself as “Latina by heart, American first” — born to an American father and Guatemalan mother.Catalina Lauf instagram
In her announcement video, Lauf said Ocasio-Cortez was among the “angry voices who seek to divide us.”
“I think people like AOC and that group are focusing on an agenda that is so detrimental to our country,” Lauf told The Post.
“They are not being leaders. They are part of the problem.”
When questioned about being a minority female supportive of Trump, Lauf said she wanted strong borders and denied claims that the president was racist.
“I’m the daughter of a legal immigrant,” she said. “We’re for legal immigration. That’s not racism. You should be a law-abiding citizen.”
The offspring of a small-business owner, Lauf described herself as a proud capitalist who grew up working in her entrepreneurial father’s various businesses.
While studying at Miami University of Ohio, Lauf became involved in the college Republican group before obtaining a bachelor of communications at the age of 20.
Describing politics as her “calling,” she worked for Uber in Chicago in community partnerships before becoming a special adviser to the Department of Commerce last year.
Lauf said she felt compelled to run after Underwood this month called for the impeachment of Trump.
Lauf accused the 32-year-old incumbent of not representing the mostly rural, traditionally Republican district that the Democrats narrowly won with 52.5% of the vote in the 2018 midterm election.
“I want to break the stereotype that Republicans aren’t empathetic,” she said.
“Being Republican doesn’t mean I don’t care.”