On Tuesday, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old Latina and first-time candidate, unseated 10-term incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley in New York’s 14th congressional district, handing established Democrats a shocking blow.
“This is the start of a movement,” Ocasio-Cortez, whose campaign slogan is “It’s time for a political revolution” and has stated that “women like me aren’t supposed to run for office,” wrote on Twitter following the news of her win. “Thank you all.”
This is the start of a movement.
Thank you all.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) June 27, 2018
The Bronx, New York-born Puerto Rican, a former organizer for Bernie Sanders, beat the fourth-ranking Democrat in the House with a progressive grassroots campaign that called for the abolishment of U.S. Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Medicare-for-all, tuition-free public education, criminal justice reform and a guarantee of federal jobs.
According to election returns, Ocasio-Cortez, who was outraised by Crowley by a 10-to-1 margin, won by a landslide, with a more than 15 percent lead. Throughout her campaign, which raised just $300,000 to Crowley’s $3,354,370, the Latina refused to accept corporate money.
“I cannot believe these numbers right now, but I do know that every single person here has worked their butt off to change the future of the Bronx and Queens,” she said during an interview with NY1, where she first learned that she won. “… This victory belongs to every single grassroots organizer, every working parent, every mom, every member of the LGBTQ community, every person is responsible for this.”
Challenger @Ocasio2018 toppled one of the top Democrats in Congress, @repjoecrowley, Tuesday night in their primary in the 14th District. The victory stunned even her, live on our channel. #NY1Politics https://t.co/fnK1O0bacz pic.twitter.com/RjuqHJpn1p
— Spectrum News NY1 (@NY1) June 27, 2018
Following his defeat, Crowley, the so-called “Queens Machine” who hadn’t faced an opponent in 14 years, dedicated his rendition of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run” to Ocasio-Cortez.
“We meet a machine with a movement, and that is what we have done today,” she said.
The Democratic nominee will face her Republican opponent Anthony Pappas, a St. John’s University professor, in the general election, which she is all but guaranteed to win in the minority-majority and overwhelmingly Democratic district. If she triumphs, Ocasio-Cortez will be the youngest sitting member in Congress and the second to self-identify as a socialist.