Nov. 6, 2018 By Christian Murray
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has just been elected to U.S. Congress, making her the youngest woman to win a Congressional seat in the country’s history.
Ocasio-Cortez, 29, will represent the 14th District of New York , which covers northwest Queens and a southern portion of Bronx, in the House of Representatives beginning in January.
Her victory, with roughly 80 percent of the vote and 72 percent of scanners reporting as of press time, comes on the heels of her stunning victory over longtime Rep. Joseph Crowley in the June primary that rocked the political establishment. Her Republican opponent, Anthony Pappas, received roughly 13 percent of the vote in tonight’s election.
Ocasio-Cortez, a Democratic Socialist who ran on a platform of Medicare-for-all, free public college and abolishing ICE, beat Crowley by nearly 15 points—57.1 percent to 42.5– in the primary. She railed against the Democratic machine and refused to take corporate money, and set herself apart from Crowley, claiming he was the embodiment of the machine and special interests as head of the Queens County Democratic Party.
Despite Crowley’s defeat in the primary, his name remained on ballot—listed under the Working Families line. Some supporters, additionally, were campaigning for him, despite his numerous announcements that he wasn’t running.
Last week, ads were placed in the Woodside Herald, Queens Gazette and elsewhere telling residents to cast their votes for him.
Supporters were also handing out flyers in Sunnyside and were urging people to support him on Facebook.
But the likelihood of Ocasio-Cortez, a resident of Parkchester in the Bronx, winning the Nov. 6 midterm election was already high, given her astounding triumph in the Democratic primary.
Indeed, Crowley received 6 percent of the vote as of press time, with roughly 6,450 votes counted so far.
The first-time candidate, who had roughly 82,000 votes in tonight’s election, came with little political experience when she started her campaign at the beginning of the year. At the time she was working as a waitress in a Manhattan restaurant.
She had helped Bernie Sanders with his 2016 presidential run, and also worked for the National Hispanic Institute. She also handled constituent issues for Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts while attending college in Boston, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and international relations from Boston University.
Her progressive agenda, dislike of the political machine and humble beginnings, however, resonated strongly with constituents. Her campaign, while steadily gaining traction, was elevated to the spotlight shortly after releasing an online video that went viral, with the opening line being– “Women like me aren’t supposed to run for office.”
Two other area women who beat incumbents in the Democratic primaries also won resounding victories tonight.
Jessica Ramos was elected state senator for the 13th District, which covers sections of Jackson Heights, Corona, Elmhurst, East Elmhurst, Woodside and Astoria. She generated 86 percent of the vote as of press time, with 86 percent of precincts reporting.
Her victory was a mere formality after her hard-fought primary against party-backed Jose Peralta in September. Peralta, however, was also on the ballot, but received a mere 10 percent of the vote.
Meanwhile, Catalina Cruz was elected to represent the 39th Assembly District–which covers Jackson Heights, Elmhurst and Corona–with 87 percent of the vote as of press time and 86 percent of precincts reporting. She is the first Dreamer to hold office in New York.
She won the September primary against party-backed Aridia Espinal, who received 10 percent of the vote tonight.