Ayanna Pressley defeats Dem Rep. Michael Capuano in upset primary victory

Ayanna Pressley Defeats Rep. Michael Capuano In Massachusetts Primary

She joins a number of other black women who've won their primaries this year, including Stacey Abrams, who's running for governor in Georgia, Lauren Underwood, running for a congressional seat in IL, and Jahana Hayes, who's also running for a seat in Congress from CT.

"The nature of the 44-year-old city councilor's [Pressley's] campaign - a woman of color taking on a white, male longtime congressman in a Democratic primary - drew immediate comparisons [to Ocasio-Cortez's campaign] Wednesday", he added.

In the latest upset during the 2018 Democratic primaries, Ayanna Pressley beat a veteran 10-term Democrat in MA in a House race being watched nationally as an indicator of the future of the Democratic Party. Unlike Ocasio-Cortez, who was running against a more moderate Democrat in Crowley, Capuano is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus with a solidly left-leaning legislative record.

Republicans didn't run a candidate in the heavily Republican Boston-based district, and Pressley is all but guaranteed to join the next Congress. While she was similarly outspent by her opponent, Amatul-Wadud did not raise much in her race, coming in at $113,000.

Facing an uphill battle against Capuano ― a poll for radio station WBUR showed her trailing him by 13 percentage points a month ago ― Pressley campaigned on the need to change the House's status quo.

"We will vote the same way, but I will lead differently", she said in a recent debate. "Ours was truly a people powered, grassroots campaign. that dared to do what Massachusetts Democrats aren't supposed to do".

Capuano was conceding shortly after 9 p.m. after it was clear he didn't have the votes to keep the seat he's held for two decades. And while national progressives including Ocasio-Cortez rallied to her side, she had some strong local institutional support as well, including an endorsement from the Boston Globe.

"Voters might be hesitant to move on from Capuano after his years of experience and the seniority he has accumulated in Congress", wrote the Globe editorial. "It's not just good enough to see the Democrats back in power but it matters who those Democrats are". In contrast, Capuano pointed to his longstanding relationships in Congress and ability to bring home federal money to the district.

Pressley thought was also helped by some cracks in establishment support for Capuano.

Related news: