After upset win, Massachusetts Democrat comes out swinging at Trump

Gladys Abbott
September 5, 2018

Tuesday night, Pressley, the first woman of color to win a Boston City Council seat, won the Democratic primary for Congress, beating out 10-term Democrat, Mike Capuano, with 53 percent of the vote.

With no Republicans on the ticket in Tuesday's nominating primary, Ms Pressley is all but certain to succeed Mr Capuano in Washington in November's congressional elections.

Pressley is the first woman of color ever to serve on Boston's City Council, and is set to break another barrier, becoming the first woman of color to serve in its congressional delegation.

"Ayanna Pressley is going to be a good Congresswoman and MA is going to be well served", Capuano said in his concession speech. She is not facing a Republican in November.

Her victory comes just two months after Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez similarly defeated a top House leader in a primary for a NY congressional seat. "America is going to be OK", Capuano said in his concession speech.

The diverse 7th district includes most of Boston, parts of Cambridge and Milton, and all of Chelsea, Everett, Randolph and Somerville.

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Pressley's campaign garnered national attention amid a summer of progressive challengers taking on - and sometimes defeating - Democratic incumbents.

Like Ms. Ocasio-Cortez's challenge to Rep. Joe Crowley, Ms. Pressley was looking to unseat a white male who'd represented for 20 years a district that was now mostly non-white.

"We will vote the same way, but I will lead differently", she said in a recent debate. And Pressley has called the New Yorker "my sister in change". Pressley's positions are also very progressive.

One longtime community activist in Boston, the Rev. Jeff Brown, spoke to the race's significance, saying it is "about the soul of the Democratic Party".

It's a race that many establishment Democrats wanted to go the other way, with black political leaders like John Lewis, Congresswoman Maxine Waters and Governor Deval Patrick, endorsing Pressley's opponent Capuano.

She was raised by her single mother, Sandra Pressley, on the north side of Chicago while her father, Martin Pressley, battled addiction and spent much of her childhood in prison. And he positioned himself as fervently anti-Donald Trump ― refusing to attend the president's inauguration past year, voting twice in support of impeaching him and frequently calling him out on Twitter.

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