Justice Democrat Ayanna Pressley Wins Primary

George McgeeSep 05, 2018

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.

She'll face Geoff Diehl, a state representative who served as co-chairman of President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign in the state and defeated two other Republicans for his party's nomination. "I'm saying that your vote is just one part of the job", she said. "I am so humbled to be standing before you tonight, victorious".

Ayanna Pressley applauds in front of her supporters during primary day on September 4, 2018 in Chelsea, Massachusetts.

"It's not just good enough to see the Democrats back in power, but it matters who those Democrats are", she said.

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. Though in both primaries a woman of color defeated a white man who had been in Congress for decades, the MA race does not fit the narrative of a progressive political newcomer unseating an Establishment Democrat.

"Oh my god. Oh my god", Pressley said through tears. However, the 7th District race wasn't drawn along ideological fault lines. Pressley acknowledged that she and Capuano would probably vote the same way on most issues, but she has argued that she could lead "a movement" from the seat.

Pressley cried tears of joy after receiving the news of her win.

Capuano first won his House seat in 1998.

She enjoyed a boost in the race's final weeks thanks to endorsements from both Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey - who has made a name for herself by suing the Trump administration - as well as the Boston Globe, the state's paper of record. And Pressley has called the New Yorker "my sister in change".

Pressley's win was the latest in a streak of victories by younger, more racially diverse Democratic candidates against established rivals ahead of the November 6 election when Democrats need to pick up 23 seats in the House of Representatives to serve as a more effective foil to Trump's agenda. "I knew we would have to fight... for every voter".

'Change is coming and the future belongs to all of us, ' Pressley told wildly cheering supporters Tuesday night.

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