Massachusetts Dem Goes After Trump Following Upset Win

Friday, 07 Sep, 2018

- Ayanna Pressley is all but assured of becoming the first black woman elected to Congress from MA, the latest example of the Democratic Party's embrace of diversity and liberal politics as the recipe for success in the Trump era.

Pressley had the endorsement of Ocasio-Cortez, whose victory in NY this summer prompted Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez to declare her "the future of our party", as the party shifts leftward from the watery managerialism of Hillary Clinton and her ilk.

Pressley will vie for a seat in the House of Representatives after a career in Boston's City Council. She served as a senior aide to former Sen.

Balloons fall around Democratic candidate for U.S House of Representatives Ayanna Pressley at her primary election night rally in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., September 4, 2018.

She also supports measures deemed radical by many, including abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a federal agency that has enforced President Trump's crackdown on illegal migrants.

The ascendancy of a new generation of Democrats has the potential of recasting the party's profile much the way the election of 49 Democrats to formerly Republican seats did in the so-called "Watergate baby" midterm elections of 1974, just after impeachment hearings led to the resignation of Richard Nixon. Her victory comes on the back of 28-year-old self-professed socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's shock win in NY over Rep. Joe Crowley, also a 10-term incumbent, in June. She's now slated to be Massachusetts' first-ever African-American congressmember.

For Pressley, as with many other ascendant candidates of color, unabashedly liberal credentials smoothed her path to victory in the primary.

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. In his concession speech, Capuano observed that "the district wanted a lot of change" and said Pressley "will make a great congresswoman".

Neither Gonzales nor his primary opponent Democrat Robert Massie, a longtime political and environmental activist, was well-known outside party activist circles.

Pressley, who has always been seen as an underdog, was raised by Sandra Pressley, a single mother.

Capuano conceded the election early after returns started flowing in, a sign of how badly Pressley defeated him.

Pressley's defeat of a 10-term incumbent underscores the shift underway in a Democratic Party whose base is seeking younger, more diverse candidates who embrace liberal policies.

"We've had a steady stream, on and off", she said as several voters waited in line for their ballot.

Massachusetts' last Democratic primary upset came in 2014, when Seth Moulton defeated Rep. John Tierney in the state's 6th Congressional District.