Monday, 24 September, 2018

Ayanna Pressley ousts longtime Democrat in Massachusetts House primary

Boston Globe via Getty Images FILE Boston Globe via Getty Images FILE
| 06 September, 2018, 01:42

Democratic Rep. Mike Capuano has conceded defeat to Boston city councilor Ayanna Pressley in the MA primary for his US House seat Tuesday, the latest upset to rock the Democratic Party and showcase a restive base eager for change.

Ayanna Pressley didn't just upset Michael Capuano on Tuesday.

It's not a sight you see every day, certainly not around Boston - a black woman mounting a plausible challenge to a 10-term white congressman from her own party, a politician with vast connections who votes the progressive line and opposes everything Trump.

Capuano told supporters he did everything he could to win re-election. And black politicians in three states - Florida, Georgia and Maryland - have won the Democratic nomination for governor, a historic turn for a country that has elected just two black governors in US history.

Garrison served one term as a state representative in 1992, but she has lost countless elections since leaving that office.

Pressley defeated a similarly left-leaning incumbent, which could temper any potential discord around her arrival in Congress, said Joshua Dyck, a professor of political science at the University of MA at Lowell.

"These times demanded more from our leaders and from our party", she said.


A 10-term incumbent congressman in MA conceded to a progressive candidate during the state's Democratic primaries Tuesday night. "I'm just as upset as they are, but so be it", Capuano told supporters. But there are major differences between the two candidates and their races: Ocasio-Cortez came out of nowhere to defeat New York Rep. Joe Crowley.

The Dorchester resident Carla Monteiro, 35, voted for Pressley because, she said, she felt a strong connection to her history, and felt Pressley had a record of making change. Bernie Sanders, a self-identified Democratic Socialist who reinvigorated the progressive wing of the Democratic Party with his 2016 presidential bid.

Pressley has served on Boston's city council since 2009, with a mandate to support women and girls.

An African-American woman pulled off an upset victory in a Democratic primary contest against a 10-term entrenched male incumbent in Boston, the latest sign that insurgent United States candidates from the left are gaining ground. She also would be the first person of color to ever represent the state in Congress.

"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 in one debate.

Capuano is now the fourth incumbent to fall in a primary election this year, joining Republican Reps.

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