Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, democratic socialist, beats 10-term incumbent in NYC primary

In a historic upset, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a young democratic socialist of Latina descent, has defeated political veteran Joe Crowley in their party's congressional primary in New York City.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez celebrates at a victory party in the Bronx after upsetting incumbent Democratic Representative Joseph Crowley on June 26, 2018 in New York City.(Photo by Scott Heins/Getty Images)

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old Latina and democratic socialist, defeated Joe Crowley, a 10-term incumbent, on Tuesday night in their party's congressional primary in New York City.

It was a devastating upset for the 56-year-old Crowley, a political veteran who outraised his opponent 10 to 1, skipped two debates with Ocasio-Cortez, and was thought by some to be the next Speaker of the House. Ocasio-Cortez, who earned 57.5 percent of the vote compared to Crowley’s 42.5 percent, seemed shocked by the results at an election party in a Bronx pool hall on Tuesday night.

“I cannot put this into words,” Ocasio-Cortez told a reporter at the party. “I cannot believe these numbers right now, but I do know that every single person here has worked their butt off to change the future of the Bronx and Queens.”

Ocasio-Cortez, daughter of a Bronx-born father and Puerto Rican mother, had worked as an organizer for the 2016 Bernie Sanders presidential campaign. But more recently, the 28-year-old was working as a bartender in New York City to help support her family.

In a campaign ad, she said going into politics was never the plan.

“I never really saw myself running on my own,” she told New York magazine. “I counted out that possibility because I felt that possibility had counted out me. I felt like the only way to effectively run for office is if you had access to a lot of wealth, high social influence, a lot of dynastic power, and I knew that I didn’t have any of those things.”

This photo is from Nov. 14, 2017. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 28, was then working as a bartender.

Less than a year later, she defeated the likely next Speaker of the House, and will almost certainly be the youngest woman ever elected to Congress

— Jeff Stein (@JStein_WaPo) June 27, 2018
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