A Progressive Insurgent Just Pulled Off the Biggest Democratic Primary Upset in Years

Meet Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, democratic primary winner who defeated powerful US Congressman Joe Crowley (D-NY) in the New York democratic primary on 26th. June, 2018 was a crowd favorite at the #FamiliesBelongTogether rally and march. The End Family Separation NYC Rally and March is one of several similar #FamiliesBelongTogether protest events taking place across the U.S. this weekend, 30th. June, 2018. This Queens, New York march and rally, took place in the most ethnically diverse neighborhood of the city in Jackson Heights and drew hundreds of passionate activist and protesters. (Credit Image: © G. Ronald Lopez/ZUMA Wire)G. Ronald Lopez/Zuma

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The Democratic Party just had its Eric Cantor moment. In Tuesday’s New York Democratic primary, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old former Bernie Sanders organizer, knocked off incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley—the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus. Crowley was considered by many to be second in line to be speaker of the House if Democrats capture the chamber in the November elections.

Crowley, who is chairman of the Queens Democratic Party, had never faced a serious primary challenge in any of his 10 previous elections. But Ocasio-Cortez picked up steam in the 14th Congressional District by channeling progressive dissatisfaction with New York’s Democratic establishment. She tied Crowley (not unfairly) to Wall Street and real estate interests and argued that it was time for the overwhelmingly nonwhite district to be represented by someone like her, a Puerto Rican from the Bronx. That was a theme of her viral campaign ad:

Although Crowley was a reliable progressive vote in Congress, Ocasio-Cortez offered a platform that was substantially to the left. A member of the Democratic Socialists of America, she was one of the first congressional candidates to call for the abolition of the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, better known as ICE. With her victory, Ocasio-Cortez is all but assured of becoming the youngest woman ever elected to the House, and she becomes the first Democratic primary challenger to knock off an incumbent member of Congress this year.

Watch the moment Ocasio-Cortez found out she’d won, courtesy of NY1:

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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