She made history and is the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. Progressive Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won her race for a U.S. House seat in New York’s 14th District on Tuesday.
The 29-year-old political newby made headlines nationwide in June when she unexpectedly defeated 10-term Rep. Joe Crowley in the Democratic primary.
On Tuesday, Ocasio-Cortez easily won in the heavily Democratic district against Republican opponent Anthony Pappas, a St. John’s University professor.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ofrece su primer discurso tras ser elegida como la mujer más joven a la Cámara de Representantes. pic.twitter.com/JK2daERukf
— Univision Noticias (@UniNoticias) November 7, 2018
“This is what is possible when everyday people come together in the collective realization that all our actions … are powerful, worthwhile and capable of lasting change,” Ocasio-Cortez said in her victory speech Tuesday night.
“Words cannot express my gratitude to every organizer, every small-dollar donor, every working parent and Dreamer who helped make this movement happen,” she added. “And that’s exactly what this is, not a campaign or an Election Day but a movement … for social, economic and racial justice.”
Ocasio-Cortez was born to a Puerto Rican mom and Bronxite dad, she famously worked as a bartender just months before winning her primary and had never previously held political office. She garnered former President Barack Obama’s endorsement for the general election.
“Our district is overwhelmingly people of color, it’s working class, it’s very immigrant ― and it hasn’t had the representation we’ve needed,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
She is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America and is part of a wave of progressive Democrats promising to push the party establishment further left.
Ocasio-Cortez is one of several women who made history Tuesday night, including Rashida Tlaib in Michigan and Ilhan Omar in Minnesota, now the first Muslim women elected to Congress, and Ayanna Pressley in Massachusetts, now the first black woman elected to Congress in her state.
“Alexandria, Ilhan, Ayanna. I love these names!” Tlaib said at a September summit celebrating women of color in politics. “Yes, you’re going to have to learn how to say our names.”