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Culture > News

Everything You Need To Know About Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Historic New York Primary Win

On Tuesday June 26, history was made when 28-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez not only ran her first campaign, but managed to beat out 10-term Rep. Joe Crowley in the 14th congressional district of New York.

CNN reports that Ocasio-Cortez, an activist and member of the Democratic Socialists of America, “won over voters in the minority-majority district with a ruthlessly efficient grassroots bid, even as Crowley —the fourth-ranking Democrat in the House — outraised her by a 10-to-1 margin.” She has a degree in Economics and International Relations from Boston University.

Though her opponent’s platform is nothing to scoff at ,as Joseph Crowley has fought for immigrants rights and also believes in Medicare for all, he also ran unopposed for the last 14 years — and was anticipated to be the one to replace Nancy Pelosi as House Minority Leader. Until now when, as BBC News reports, Ocasio-Cortez beat him with 57.5 percent of the vote. She believes that while he’s a great candidate, his ties to Wall Street and a disconnect from the younger generation is what had him beat. However, Crowley said he would be supporting her in the mid-terms in his concession speech.

Cortez believes in universal healthcare, a federal jobs guarantee, tuition-free college, criminal justice reform and the complete abolishment of ICE. She believes so much in the abolition of ICE that she took a break from her campaigning to head down to Texas and join the protest at the ICE detention center.

Ocasio-Cortez said of her absence, “The reason I was able to do that is because we have built a legitimately strong grassroots movement of organizers here to hold it down for 24 to 48 hours and I think that’s reflective of the strength of what we have built here.

Ocasio-Cortez, who is from a Puerto Rican family, wanted to let her district that is predominantly consistent of immigrants that she hears what they’re saying, understands their fear and has their back. In her speech Tuesday night she stated, “You have given this country hope, you have given this country proof that when you knock on your neighbor’s door, when you come to them with love, when you let them know that no matter your stance, you are there for them — that we can make change.”

BBC News also points out that this may have stoked a change in the way women and younger people are being seen during elections and that this win could alter the outcome of other elections.

“The party is moving to the left, with growing support for universal healthcare and free college education – issues that were at the heart of Senator Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign.”

Interestingly enough, she decided to run as a way to fight against the election of Donald Trump, the man who tweeted out about her historic win without even mentioning her. Instead, he took to saying that Crowley was against him and it was good that he was gone. It seems as though he didn’t read about the winner.

Senator Bernie Sanders, who Ocasio-Cortez has been likened to, also weighed in on the victory in a statement. “She took on the entire local Democratic establishment in her district and won a very strong victory. She demonstrated once again what progressive grassroots politics can do.”

Ocasio-Cortez will now face Republican candidate Anthony Papas in the November mid-terms. If she is victorious after that election, she will become the youngest person to ever be elected to Congress.

I'm a writer from just outside Chicago. I graduated from Purdue University and have been writing for outlets such as HelloGiggles, Elite Daily and itsjustaboutwrite.com as well as my own blog www.gingerandchampagne.com since. I am always interested in cookies and dream about a One Direction reunion once a week. I can talk about books all day or how I want to marry Jake Gyllenhaal. Find me on Instagram and Twitter @missmeganmann.