Ten-term male Democrat falls to progressive black woman in MA primary

Ten-term male Democrat falls to progressive black woman in MA primary

Ten-term male Democrat falls to progressive black woman in MA primary

In a shocking upset with national reverberations, upstart Ayanna Pressley defeated longtime incumbent U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano in a primary fight being watched across the country.

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.

Pressley, who will not face a Republican challenger in November, becomes the first African-American woman elected to Congress from the Commonwealth.

Another veteran congressman, Democratic Rep. Richard Neal, won a spirited primary showdown with Tahirah Amatul-Wadud, a black attorney from Springfield who had hoped to become the first Muslim to serve in Congress from MA.

Her victory comes just two months after Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez similarly defeated a top House leader in a primary for a NY congressional seat.

Capuano said in his concession speech that "clearly the district wanted a lot of change".

She received a number of high-profile endorsements, including from the Boston Globe and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the democratic socialist who enjoyed a similar victory over Rep. The 7th District encompasses most of Boston and much of Cambridge.

Pressley has bristled at the notion that race was a defining issue in her campaign.

Republicans didn't run a candidate in the heavily Republican Boston-based district, and Pressley is all but guaranteed to join the next Congress.

"I have been really furious about the constant charges being lobbed against me about identity politics that, by the way, are only lobbed against women and candidates of color", she said in one debate. And Pressley has called the New Yorker "my sister in change".

"This wasn't a battle between a conservative and a liberal, they were both progressives in very good standing", said Peter Ubertaccio, a professor of political science at Stonehill College outside Boston.

A piece in Boston.com profiling Pressley's race after Ocasio-Cortez's victory this summer noted the similarities between their two campaigns. But she made her background a major part of the race, highlighting the importance of boosting diversity in the Democratic Party, talking about her own experience with sexual assault, and regularly calling for more "bold, activist leadership". He raised twice as much money as Pressley. And he positioned himself as fervently anti-Donald Trump ― refusing to attend the president's inauguration previous year, voting twice in support of impeaching him and frequently calling him out on Twitter.

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