She shocked everyone when she won her primary in June, upsetting 10-term Democratic incumbent Joe Crowley, and now, 29-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has made history as the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. Beating out Republican candidate Anthony Pappas, Ocasio-Cortez claimed victory in New York’s 14th district, which covers parts of the Bronx and Queens; Ocasio-Cortez is a Bronx native.
A Latina who grew up in a working-class family, Ocasio-Cortez worked previously as a Bernie Sanders campaign organizer (the former presidential candidate and current Vermont senator campaigned with Ocasio-Cortez in this election) and as an education director with the National Hispanic Institute, a leadership organization.
Ocasio-Cortez shocked election watchers when she won her primary earlier this year. Her opponent, Crowley, was widely expected to win, and even potentially become House Minority Leader, replacing long-time leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi. Ocasio-Cortez, though, a first-time candidate and member of the Democratic Socialists of America, leveraged frustration and anger with the Trump administration and the Democratic establishment to rise to victory.
“This is not an end, this is the beginning,” she said in her primary victory speech. “This is the beginning because the message that we sent the world tonight is that it’s not okay to put donors before your community. 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.”
A huge congrats to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on her historic win.