At just 29 years old, democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest woman ever elected to Congress Tuesday night, thanks to her win over Republican Anthony Pappas in New York’s 14th Congressional District.
Ocasio-Cortez’s general election win was far from unexpected — the district, located in New York City’s Bronx and Queens boroughs, has leaned heavily Democratic for years. Instead, Ocasio-Cortez’s primary victory over 10-term incumbent Joseph Crowley, the fourth-most-powerful Democrat in the House, was what stunned the nation and the Democratic establishment.
That win also had the side effect of turning the progressive Ocasio-Cortez into the conservative right’s favorite supervillain. Fox News spent several weeks talking about her endlessly, while she was the focus of dozens of stories on conservative websites. Ocasio-Cortez, meanwhile, started stumping across the country for other progressive candidates in an attempt to use her fame to unleash a blue wave in areas often dismissed as Trump country.
Massachusetts Democrat Ayanna Pressley also cruised to victory Tuesday night to become the first black woman to represent Massachusetts in Congress. Her primary win echoed Ocasio-Cortez’s: Pressley defeated the Democratic establishment candidate Mike Capuano, a 10-term incumbent, in the state's heavily liberal, Boston-area 7th District.
Cover image: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, democratic candidate for the 14th Congressional district of New York, speaks during a rally against Judge Brett Kavanaugh at City Hall, Monday, Oct. 1, 2018, in Boston. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)