Ayanna Pressley's Surprise Upset Shows Women Of Color's Power In Democratic Politics

Ayanna Pressley Defeats Longtime Representative Mike Capuano in MA Democratic Primary Upset

Historic wins in two Massachusetts primary races

A 10-term Democratic congressman has conceded defeat to a Boston city councillor who is now poised to become Massachusetts' first black congresswoman in a race with parallels to a NY upset that rattled the party in June.

The 44-year-old's upset victory against longtime Democratic Rep. Michael Capuano in Tuesday's primary sets the stage for Pressley to represent an area once served by Tip O'Neill and John F. Kennedy.

Since she is running unopposed in November, Pressley will become the Commonwealth's first black woman elected to Congress. Capuano - along with the entire MA congressional delegation - supports the "Blue Lives Matter" bill, making assaulting a police officer a federal crime.

Another major upset of a Democratic congressman took place in MA on Tuesday night.

Capuano, 66, first won the seat in 1998 but struggled to keep up with Pressley as she argued that a young and majority-nonwhite district needed a fresh voice in Washington.

It's a race that many establishment Democrats wanted to go the other way, with black political leaders like John Lewis, Congresswoman Maxine Waters and Governor Deval Patrick, endorsing Pressley's opponent Capuano.

She will head to Congress to represent the 7th District of MA, the Boston-area district once represented by John F. Kennedy. "Our president is a racist, misogynistic, truly empathy-bankrupt man", she told supporters.

The prospect of a Pressley upset had drawn some comparisons to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's defeat of Crowley in June.

In her victory speech, Pressley expressed the importance of new, diverse faces in her party, and why so many fringe Democrats are making a difference.

They were contesting a primary to run for the seat held by U.S. Representative Niki Tsongas, who is retiring after 11 years.

Secretary of state Bill Galvin - Massachusetts' longest-serving statewide official, in office since 1995 - fended off a Democratic primary challenge from Boston city councilor Josh Zakim, who conceded. He also had the support of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Pressley told supporters after her win that "change is on the way".

Monteiro says as a woman raised by a single mother coming from a "tough neighborhood", she can relate to Pressley "in so many ways". "I voted for Pressley because she has and will challenge polices", she said.

Democratic candidate for U.S House of Representatives Ayanna Pressley's step-father Warren Maynard celebrates after Pressley won the Democratic primary in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., September 4, 2018.

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