Published: Wed, September 05, 2018
Finance | By Gustavo Carr

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

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

It starts with a look of shock, followed by a quick glance into the camera, and then a waterfall of happy tears after Ayanna Pressley learned she had won the Democratic nomination for the Seventh District US House seat in MA on Tuesday night.

Ms. Pressley, the first black woman elected to the Boston City Council, challenged Mr. Capuano from the left and on style and identity, in a pattern similar to the upset victory of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez earlier this summer in NY. Pressley beat Michael Capuano, a 10-term incumbent, in Massachusetts' 7th District.

Teeming opposition on the left to Trump has fuelled primary wins for insurgent, women and minority candidates in Democratic primaries ahead of November's crucial midterm elections. Amatul-Wadud would have been among the first Muslim women in Congress. Ocasio-Cortez endorsed Pressley, sending her media attention in the final leg of her campaign.

Republicans didn't run a candidate in the heavily Republican Boston-based district, and Pressley is all but guaranteed to join the next Congress.

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 USA candidates from the left are gaining ground.

She was raised by her single mother, Sandra Pressley, on the north side of Chicago while her father, Martin Pressley, battled addiction and spent much of her childhood in prison.

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The race was viewed as another referendum on politics as usual, with the younger and more energetic Pressley defeating a powerful incumbent, the latest in a line of similar upsets across the country.

"This is not just about resisting and affronting Trump", Pressley said, per the Times.

Later during Pressley's victory party, her stepdaughter Cora stood in silence with tears rolling down her face as she listened to Pressley speak. Still, Pressley joins Ocasio-Cortez in New York, Stacey Abrams in Georgia and Andrew Gillum in Florida in the ranks of progressive, non-white politicians who represent demographic change and perspective in the Democratic Party.

Capuano told supporters "America is going to be OK" and said Pressley is going to be a good congresswoman.

Pressley called for defunding the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, known as ICE, which helped her draw support from Massachusetts' popular attorney general, Maura Healey, who's gained a national following for repeatedly suing President Donald Trump in an attempt to block his policies on immigration, gun control and other issues.

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