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

Bipartisanship or Caving In

Bipartisanship or Caving In

Pressley's victory - as a younger woman of color - echoes the upset win, earlier this year in New York City, of political newcomer Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who also ousted a longtime congressional incumbent.

It was no sure thing that the story line leading progressive candidates of color to victory in New York City, Florida, Georgia and elsewhere would play out in MA, but voters backed Pressley and the idea that Democrats in Congress need new faces to deliver change.

Democrats in Florida picked liberal Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum to run for Florida governor, while Democrat Stacey Abrams in Georgia is vying to become the first black woman to serve as governor of any US state. Pressley was endorsed by Ocasio-Cortez, and has been profiled in several news outlets.

Pressley signaled on Tuesday that she expected to shake up her own party.

"With so much at stake in the era of Trump, tonight's results make clear what Ayanna Pressley knew when she boldly launched her campaign against a ten-term incumbent: Change in the country and Congress can't wait", said Jim Dean, chair of the liberal group Democracy for America.

Pressley's foray into politics started way back in 2009 when she became the first woman of colour to be elected to the city council.

There was little difference on issues between Ms. Pressley, 44, and Mr. Capuano, 66, but Ms. Pressley played up her potential appeal to the party's emergent progressive wing.

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The 7th District encompasses Boston's residential neighborhoods and its surrounding suburbs, with large Hispanic, black and Asian populations, and is the state's only majority-minority district.

However, two other Massachusetts Democrats, Reps.

Pressley has been a member of the council for nine years, and previously worked as a staffer for Senator John Kerry and Representative Joseph Kennedy II. She also had the backing of the state's attorney general, Maura Healey.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren sailed through her primary unopposed.

Capuano was endorsed by prominent MA figures, including former Gov. Deval Patrick, the state's first black governor.

Capuano is now the fourth House lawmaker to lose re-election in a 2018 midterm primary, following Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-N.C.), Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) and Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.).

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