Millennial rebel with a cause topples 10-term NY incumbent in shocking triumph
The future of the Democratic Party might be in the hands of Millennials.
In a stunning defeat, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 28, knocked out political veteran Joseph Crowley, 56, in New York’s Democratic Party congressional primary election Tuesday night.
The first-time candidate, who is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, won with 57.5 per cent of the vote, solidifying her victory over Crowley.
Her historic and game-changing win marks her as one of the youngest nominees for Congress and would make her the youngest woman ever in the House of Representatives if she is elected in 2019.
She faces Republican candidate Anthony Pappas in the November 2018 midterm election.
As a young woman of colour, Ocasio-Cortez’s victory could potentially see a pendulum swing in American politics.
This is the start of a movement.
Thank you all.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) June 27, 2018
In a promotional video released ahead of the election, Ocasio-Cortez questioned the Democratic promise of change.
“Who has New York been changing for? Every day gets harder for working families like mine to get by, the rent gets high, healthcare covers less and our income stays the same,” she said in the video. “It’s clear that these changes haven’t been for us and we deserve a champion.”
The video also calls out Democrats who run on corporate money and profit from foreclosure, saying they don’t represent or relate to the people of Queens and the Bronx.
Her campaign platform includes Medicare for All, the protection of DREAMers, universal jobs guarantee, housing as a human right and the abolishment of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Ocasio-Cortez previously worked as an organizer for Bernie Sanders in 2016 and her former boss took to Twitter to congratulate her.
Congratulations to @Ocasio2018 on her extraordinary upset victory tonight! She took on the entire local Democratic establishment in her district and won a very strong victory. She demonstrated once again what progressive grassroots politics can do.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) June 27, 2018
President Donald Trump also weighed in on Twitter on the results.
Wow! Big Trump Hater Congressman Joe Crowley, who many expected was going to take Nancy Pelosi’s place, just LOST his primary election. In other words, he’s out! That is a big one that nobody saw happening. Perhaps he should have been nicer, and more respectful, to his President!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 27, 2018
As Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, Crowley was the number four ranked Democrat in the House and has been in Congress since 1999.
This was the first time in 14 years Crowley had to face a primary challenger.
He congratulated Ocasio-Cortez on her win in his conceding statement released Tuesday night.
“I want to congratulate Ms. Ocasio-Cortez on her victory tonight. I look forward to supporting her and all Democrats this November,” Crowley said. “The Trump administration is a threat to everything we stand for here in Queens and the Bronx, and if we don’t win back the House this November, we will lose the nation we love.
“This is why we must come together. We will only be able to stop Donald Trump and the Republican Congress by working together, as a united Democratic Party,” he said.
Crowley also said it was an honour to represent Queens and the Bronx, and that he was proud of the work done to advance the community.
Many in the Democratic Party considered Crowley as a likely successor to Nancy Pelosi, currently the Minority Leader of the Democratic Party in the Republican-controlled House.
“Chairman Joe Crowley has been an unwavering champion for America’s working families for almost two decades. To know Congressman Crowley is to know his fierce pride in representing Queens and the Bronx, and the joy and effectiveness he brought to serve as their voice in the Congress,” Pelosi said in a statement.
She also congratulated Ocasio-Cortez on her victory.