She’s rarely seen with him, never speaks his name in public and didn’t even send him a social-media shout-out on Valentine’s Day.
But give Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez girlfriend points: When she thinks her man is being dissed, she flies to his defense.
Meet Riley Roberts, the all-but-silent partner to the Democrats’ congressional darling.
Roberts set the political rumor mill buzzing twice in the last two weeks. And both times, Ocasio-Cortez and her chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, took to Twitter to swat the stories down.
During his girlfriend’s campaign, Roberts received $6,000 from Brand New Congress, a political action committee that helped launch her bid — and that Chakrabarti founded — federal election records show.
At the same time, her campaign was paying Brand New Congress LLC, a company set up by Chakrabarti, $18,880 for “strategic consulting.”
Word of that ethical no-no followed a Feb. 15 report that showed Roberts listed as a staffer on Congress’ internal directory — an anomaly Chakrabarti dismissed as a typical courtesy extended to spouses and partners of Congress members.
“The conspiracy machine is in full effect,” Ocasio-Cortez fumed in a Wednesday tweet.
And Chakrabarti posted a convoluted explanation justifying his group’s payment to Roberts, which he said was for online fund-raising services.
Chakrabarti, a Wall Street and Silicon Valley veteran, founded the PAC and LLC in 2017 to get left-wing Democrats elected. Of the 30 candidates his group endorsed in the 2018 midterms, only Ocasio-Cortez won.
She then named her former sponsor as her chief of staff.
Roberts, 29, has worked as a social-media consultant — and as a tireless supporter of his 29-year-old girlfriend’s career.
He hit the streets to collect signatures to put her on the ballot last spring and filmed her trip to the Board of Elections to hand them in. And during her run, Roberts provided $1,750 worth of “in-kind contributions” doing work on her Web site.
But he has never registered to vote, public records show.
Roberts grew up in Paradise Valley, Ariz., one of the state’s wealthiest areas, as the son of a real-estate agent. He graduated from top-ranked Chaparral HS in nearby Scottsdale in 2008 after winning statewide honors in public-forum debate.
Roberts earned dual degrees in sociology and finance at Boston University, where he met Ocasio-Cortez at a chat session hosted by the college dean — “in true nerdy fashion,” she told Vogue in October.
He returned to Arizona after graduation, where he built Web sites for small businesses. He also did marketing for HomeBinder, an online home-management service.
Roberts’ mom, Constance, is fond of her son’s girlfriend, giving her the pearl-drop necklace she wore on the campaign trail.
Could an engagement ring be next? She laughed when The Post asked her last week. “Everything grandmothers want to have,” she said.
Additional reporting by Kevin Fasick, Sydney Denmark and Dana Schuster
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