Pressley's upset another win for fresh Democratic voices

05 September, 2018, 15:41 | Author: Shannon Aguilar
  • Ten-term male Democrat falls to progressive black woman in Massachusetts primary

Boston City Council member Ayanna Pressley has unseated ten-term incumbent Rep. Michael Capuano, in surprise upset in the Massachusetts Democratic primary Tuesday.

Pressley is all but certain to become the first black woman elected to Congress from MA in November. Capuano is a white dude.

"We won, we won", Pressley says, as she is hugged by numerous people around her.

Ayanna Pressley, 44, beat veteran politician Mike Capuano, 66, after mounting an insurgent campaign in MA 7th Congressional District.

Capuano was endorsed by prominent MA figures, including former Gov. Deval Patrick, the state's first black governor. She attended Boston University for two years before dropping out to work to support her mother. Pressley backs Medicare-for-all, the single-payer healthcare proposal, which helped her garner backing from Our Revolution, the offshoot of Vermont Sen. However, Pressley had the endorsement of popular state Attorney General Maura Healey.

Democrats in Florida picked liberal Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum to run for Florida governor, while Democrat Stacey Abrams in Georgia is vying to become the first black woman to serve as governor of any US state.

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In the event that Republicans hold onto a majority in the House, the situation is more complicated for Pressley.

Capuano, a former Somerville mayor, conceded after 9 p.m. Tuesday. Pressley is originally from Chicago, Illinois.

The Democratic party has referred to African-American women as the backbone of the party, but in recent years, some black organizers have expressed frustration that the party has not invested in recruiting black candidates.

Pressley also represents the latest underdog candidate to have emerged to challenge both establishment Democrats and Republicans.

Pressley challenged Capuano, who has been in Congress since 1998, from the left, and the race drew comparisons to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's upset victory over Congressman Joe Crowley - particularly after Ocasio-Cortez endorsed Pressley.

Recent polls had shown Capuano leading, and he was was ahead in both fundraising - $1.7 million compared to Pressley's almost $900,000 - and in cash on hand, $750,000 to $131,000, through August 15, the end of the pre-primary reporting period.

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