This is starting to look like a trend.
Ayanna Pressley, a former staffer for John Kerry the first black woman to serve on the Boston City Council, has now become the second female, far-left woman of color to oust a member of the Democratic firmament in an upset primary victory that echoed Bronx “native” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s June waxing of Queens Rep. Joe Crowley – the No. 4 House Dem who was once rumored to be in line to succeed Nancy Pelosi. On Tuesday night, Pressley defeated 10-term Massachusetts Rep. Michael Capuano to win the Democratic nomination to represent Massachusetts’ 7th Congressional District – surging ahead to claim victory despite her opponent’s double-digit lead in the polls.
Capuano conceded 30 minutes before the Associated Press officially called the race; at the time, Pressley was leading by more than 10,000 votes with 70% of precincts reporting, according to Fox News. Barring some unforeseeable catastrophe, Pressley will likely become the first black female member of Congress from Massachusetts in Novemeber since she will be running unopposed in the general election (that is, unless Capuano decides to stage an upstart independent bid). The 7th District, which cuts a north-south swath across the city of Boston, was designated the state’s first majority-minority district.
While she’s avoided the label of Democratic Socialism, Pressley has espoused a progressive agenda that will almost certainly set the media pundits chirping about the failures of the Democratic establishment (and, if Presley’s lucky, earn her a fawning interview segment with the hosts of “Morning Joe”).
While not a socialist, as Axios carefully reminds us, Pressley supports progressive immigration and health care policies that really aren’t all that different from those espoused by Capuano. Still, she managed to ride a wave of anti-establishment sentiment to victory, as voters in her district apparently decided en masse that now would be a good time to usher in a new generation of leaders. “I’m not running to keep things as they are…I’m running to change them,” Pressley said – which is ironic considering she has also acknowledged that she would likely vote the same way on a number of issues as Capuano would. Capuano, like Crowley, was an early supporter of Medicare-for-All, but has staked his claim even further to the left by supporting the impeachment of President Trump (to the consternation of the Democratic leadership) while pushing to make Somerville, Mass. a sanctuary city.