On Tuesday evening, the primary election results in New York were tallied to reveal that a former Bernie Sanders campaign organizer and Democrat Socialist bested a top Democrat in the House of Representatives.
It was previously predicted that Congressman Joseph Crowley, who represents the 14th congressional district in New York and is the fourth-ranking member in the legislative chamber, would easily win the seat.
Instead, 28-year-old Sanders supporter and Democrat Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez saw a double-digit win.
Per Fox News:
Crowley, 56, a 10-term incumbent from Queens and fierce Trump-basher, was a steady fundraiser for fellow Democrats and was thought by some to be a future Speaker of the House.
His defeat left no clear potential choice in the House to succeed U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., as the party’s leader.
Ocasio-Cortez, 28, who is from the Bronx, is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America and ran a low-budget campaign where she was outspent by an 18-1 margin.
Crowley raised: $3,354,370
Ocasio-Cortez raised: $300,709
People >>>>> Money. #NY14
— Michael Skolnik (@MichaelSkolnik) June 27, 2018
“We have had our country on autopilot and we’ve been accepting what’s been happening,” Ocasio-Cortez said in an interview earlier in the month, Fox News reports. “And what’s happening in this country is indicative that we need new leadership. We need new leadership in the Democratic Party and we need new leadership in the country.”
While the final votes are still being tallied, more than 90 percent of the districts have been counted and Ocasio-Cortez holds a 15 percent lead over the incumbent.
Following her win, the Democrat Socialist said: “We beat a machine with a movement, and that is what we have done today. Working-class Americans want a clear champion and there is nothing radical about moral clarity in 2018.”
She also tweeted, “This is the start of a movement. Thank you all.”
And, “I look forward to working towards a takeback of the House on a strong platform of economic, social, and racial justice for working class New Yorkers & Americans. Let’s do this.”
Thank you, @JoeCrowleyNY, for your support and longstanding service to our community.
I look forward to working towards a takeback of the House on a strong platform of economic, social, and racial justice for working class New Yorkers & Americans.
Let’s do this. https://t.co/bhYclAXjiA
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) June 27, 2018
ABC News describes Ocasio-Cortez as a “member of Democratic Socialists of America… [and] ran on a proudly leftist platform, calling to abolish the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), fund Medicare-for-all and a federal jobs guarantee, and crack down on Wall Street.
Slate reports the surprising election result is reminiscent of former Republican Leader Eric Cantor’s loss to unknown challenger Dave Brat:
She will almost certainly be the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, and Crowley will not be the next Speaker of the House.
This is already being seen as the Democratic version of then–House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s primary defeat by Dave Brat in 2014. (Before Republicans crow too much about how the radical Democratic base is taking over the party, helping Republicans’ chances, they should recall how the 2014 general elections went.) But it’s arguably bigger. This is new territory for Democrats.
Ocasio-Cortez experienced a tremendously quick rise to fame over the past twelve months:
One year ago, @Ocasio2018 was working at a craft cocktail bar in Manhattan — their website still has an image of her mixing drinks. From the bar, to destroying the Queens Democratic machine, in one year. pic.twitter.com/XvmDYxAXG4
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) June 27, 2018
This photo is from Nov. 14, 2017. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 28, was then working as a bartender.
Less than a year later, she defeated the likely next Speaker of the House, and will almost certainly be the youngest woman ever elected to Congress pic.twitter.com/JgHjdQWAF6
— Jeff Stein (@JStein_WaPo) June 27, 2018