For the Democratic Party’s establishment, lightning struck for the second time Tuesday as black progressive Ayanna Pressley of Boston replicated Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez’s upset of a long-term Democratic congressman.
In June, Ocasio-Cortez rocked the political world by handily defeating Democratic congressman Joseph Crowley for representing New York’s 14th District, which includes parts of the Bronx and Queens. Crowley had been mentioned as a possible successor to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
Pressley on Tuesday defeated incumbent Michael Capuano, who had been in Congress representing the Seventh District for 20 years, The New York Times reported.
— Jesse Mermell (@jessemermell) September 5, 2018
“This is a big wake-up call to any incumbent on the ballot in November,” said Mary Anne Marsh, a Democratic strategist.
Ocasio-Cortez celebrated Pressley’s win by tweeting a photo of herself taken with Pressley.
This photo was taken months ago.
.@AyannaPressley + I bonded over running while constantly told it’s “not our turn,” that we “weren’t ready,” “good enough,” or “experienced” enough.
We kept going anyway.
In June, I won my primary. Tonight, she won hers.
Here’s to November.? pic.twitter.com/4Xf8AnTMUQ
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) September 5, 2018
“.@AyannaPressley+ I bonded over running while constantly told it’s ‘not our turn,’ that we ‘weren’t ready,’ ‘good enough,’ or ‘experienced’ enough.We kept going anyway.In June, I won my primary. Tonight, she won hers. Here’s to November,” she tweeted.
No Republican is on the ballot, CNN reported.
“It seems like change is on the way,” Pressley told her supporters after her victory. “When I was growing up, my mother and I felt voiceless and invisible, but she made sure I knew that on Election Day we were powerful.”
While she was visiting the polls Tuesday, the 44-year-old Pressley, a veteran of Boston politics, said her candidacy was more than just about her political future.
“This is a fight for the soul of our party and the future of our democracy,” she said, according to Fox News. “This is a disruptive candidacy, a grassroots coalition. It is broad and diverse and deep. People of every walk of life.”
Pressley said race was not the issue that defined her campaign.
“I have been really furious about the constant charges being lobbed against me about identity politics that, by the way, are only lobbed against women and candidates of color,” she said. “I happen to be black and a woman and unapologetically proud to be both, but that is not the totality of my identity.”
Pressley will become the only black member of Massachusetts’ congressional delegation.
Some liberals said the victories by Pressley and Ocasio-Cortez should become the Democratic Party’s new formula.
“The winning strategy in the future of the Democratic Party points to exciting a broad, multiracial coalition of the grassroots — new voters, young voters, and people of color,” said Mari Urbana, political director of the liberal group Indivisible, according to NBC.
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