28-year-old Latina and Democratic progressive Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez upset 10 term Democratic incumbent Joe Crowley in NY’s 14 congressional district primary. We’ve got 5 fun facts about her.
In one of the biggest upsets in recent political memory, rookie candidate 28-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez pulled off a stunning victory in the Democratic primary for New York’s 14th congressional district, which includes the boroughs of Queens and the Bronx.. She beat political machine and 10 term congressman Joe Crowley, who ranked so high in the U.S. Congress that he could have ended up House Majority Leader if the chamber flipped blue in November. Joe hadn’t faced a primary challenger in 14 years, that’s how entrenched the 56-year-old was. But Alexandria’s grass roots campaign and progressive message prevailed. We’ve go five facts about her.
1. Alexandria won despite being outspent by a 10 to 1 ratio.
Her campaign refused to take in money from PACs, corporations or the Democratic establishment, where nearly all of the money went to Joe. She raised campaign funds in small increments from individuals. Joe raised over $3.3 million and spent $3.4 million on his campaign, while Alexandra raised $300K and spent a mere $194K. Yet she won! By a lot. She whooped Joe 58 percent to 42 percent with 98 percent of votes counted.
2. Alexandria ran on very liberal issues and considers herself a Democratic socialist.
Her main platforms include medicare for all, affordable housing, abolishing the federal Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Dept. (ICE), a universal jobs guarantee, and protection for Dreamers.
3. Alexandria was an organizer for Bernie Sanders’ 2016 Democratic presidential bid.
The 76-year-old progressive Vermont senator is so proud of her victory. He issued a statement saying, “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.”
4. Alexandria ran on the premise of representing working men and women and not corporate interests.
In a 2 minute commercial, she says “I’ve worked with expectant mothers, I’ve waited tables, and led classrooms, and going into politics wasn’t in the plan,” while she’s seen in pictures of people of all races and ages. “But after 20 years of the same representation, we have to ask: Who has New York been changing for? It’s clear these changes haven’t been for us and we need a champion. It’s time for a New York that working families can afford.” Powerful! The residents of Queens obviously loved her message.
5. Alexandria was born and raised in the Bronx.
Her mother hails from Puerto Rico while her father is a Bronx native. If she wins in the general election — which seems likely as her district is overwhelmingly blue — she’ll represent the eastern Bronx and part of north-central Queens.