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

05 September, 2018, 09:25 | Author: Brooke Harris
  • Ayanna Pressley Defeats Rep. Michael Capuano In Massachusetts Primary

He raised twice as much money as Pressley.

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.

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

There are no Republican candidates in the deep blue district, meaning Pressley is likely on her way to Washington, D.C.

However, unlike Crowley, Capuano had fiercely contested the MA race by racking up endorsements, attending debates and highlighting his consistently liberal voting record in one of the most Democratic districts in a traditionally Democratic state.

"It seems like change is on the way", Pressley said in her celebratory speech. Parallels between Pressley and Ocasio-Cortez were quickly observed as Pressley went up against a Democratic incumbent who was first elected into office in 1998.

Pressley had campaigned heavily on issues like defunding US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) and passing a clean Dream Act to support young undocumented immigrants.

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"Our president is a racist, misogynistic, truly empathy-bankrupt man", Pressley, 44, told supporters on Tuesday night.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts Democrat, cheered the outcome on Twitter on Tuesday night.

Neal, the dean of the state's House delegation, first was elected in 1989.

Capuano is the fourth House member to lose a primary this year, along with Reps. U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy, a grandson of former Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, also endorsed the incumbent, calling him "a guy who won't shy away from steep odds or tough truths".

Another Democrat, U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas, is retiring at the end of this term, and that open seat touched off a political scramble with 10 candidates on the Democratic primary ballot. He was buoyed by an advantage in campaign funds and a number of endorsements, including from Deval Patrick, the state's first African-American governor.

Neither Gonzales nor his primary opponent Democrat Robert Massie, a longtime political and environmental activist, was well-known outside party activist circles.

However, there are significant differences between the two races.

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