Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 28 Year Old Latina Socialist Shocks the Democratic Party and Dethrones A Powerful Incumbent Congressman
America’s Democratic party is in shock because a 28-year-old newcomer from the south Bronx ousted one of its powerful incumbent in the party’s New York primary on Tuesday.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old member of the Democratic Socialists of America, who volunteered for Bernie Sanders, used a grassroots campaign to beat Joe Crowley, a 10-term representative who many had expected to lead the Democrats in congress.
The result is a sign of the growing strength and appetite on the left to insert itself into federal politics and reject a Democratic establishment that has been criticized for its close relationship with major industries and reluctance to embrace leftwing policies on issues like healthcare and banking reform. It also, signifies the growing political clout of the Latino community, as the area is now close to 50% Hispanic, when just 20 years ago, that number was not even close.
Mr. Crowley is the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, and was widely believed to have had ambitions to become speaker of the house if Democrats were to regain control of congress in November.
But his opponent appeared to tap into left wing winds that have now blown those ambitions away.
Ms Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign managed to rally high levels of grassroots support, the same type of support that went to a presidential candidate she once organized for: Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, who ran a progressive Democratic primary campaign against Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Ocasio-Cortez told AP: “The community is ready for a movement of economic and social justice. That is what we tried to deliver.”
Born and raised in the South Bronx, she had no doubts about her ability to connect with voters.
“I live in this community,” she said. “I organized in this community. I felt the absence of the incumbent. I knew he didn’t have a strong presence”.
Donald Trump, on social media seemed equally excited about Mr. Crowley’s defeat.
“Perhaps he should have been nicer, and more respectful, to his President!” Mr. Trump tweeted, oddly taking credit for a victory by a candidate well to the left of Mr. Crowley. He added: “The Democrats are in Turmoil!”
Ms Ocasio-Cortez campaign raised more small-dollar donations than any politician serving from New York City, both in terms of the total amount, and as a percentage of her overall fundraising haul.
Ms Ocasio-Cortez is running to represent a diverse district covering parts of Queens and the Bronx, on a platform that includes Medicare for all and abolishing US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Ms Ocasio-Cortez will now head into the general election in a district – New York’s 14th – where Mr. Crowley won re-election in 2016 over his Republican challenger with 82.9 per cent of the vote.
She was outspent 18-1 in the primary election for the 14th district and even told The Associated Press that she did not have enough money to do polling for the race. Ocasio-Cortez will face Anthony Pappas, a Republican, in the general election.
At 28 years old, Ocasio-Cortez could beat Elise Stefanik’s record of becoming the youngest woman ever elected into office, Stefanik’s was 3o years old.
Ocasio-Cortez has never before held elected office and is still paying off her student loans, she previously told Elite Daily. She is a graduate of Boston University where she earned two degrees: economics and international relations.