28-Year Old Latina Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Just Pulled The Biggest Democratic Upset

By: Kayla Pasacreta

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on primary night, photo via  New York Times

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on primary night, photo via New York Times

First-time runner Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez achieved a stunning upset in New York, winning with 57.5% of the vote. The 28-year-old Latina political newcomer previously served as an organizer for Bernie Sander’s presidential campaign, and modeled her own campaign as a Democratic Socialist, challenging the establishment to advocate for economic justice, free college, universal health care, and the abolition of ICE. Just days before the primary, she even traveled to the ICE detention centers in Texas to investigate the living conditions of immigrant children and confronted  border officers. 

The video of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez realizing she won is my favorite thing in the whole world https://t.co/CJuc5DnlLA (via @NY1pic.twitter.com/Dhlb05H3vo

— Ben Dreyfuss (@bendreyfuss) June 27, 2018

Ocasio-Cortez was the first Democrat to challenge Democratic incumbent Joe Crowley in 14 years. Crowley, a political veteran, was speculated to be Nancy Pelosi's successor as Speaker of the House. Ocasio-Cortez says the election of Trump inspired her to run for office and be a progressive-fighter. Ocasio-Cortez joins the wave of progressive Democrats forcing the Democratic Party to have "political courage" and call for transformative and representative change. In a recent interview, Ocaiso-Cortez called out the Democratic Party for taking their working class voters for granted, "What I see is that the Democratic Party takes working class communities for granted, they take people of color for granted and they just assume that we’re going to turn out no matter how bland or half-stepping these proposals are,”

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 pic.twitter.com/JgHjdQWAF6

— Jeff Stein (@JStein_WaPo) June 27, 2018

A Bronx native with Puerto-Rican descent, Ocasio-Cortez appealed to a majority ethnic-district who felt that Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY) was not fighting enough for the working-class. Ocasio-Cortez only had $300,000 to work with in campaign finances, compared to the $3,350,000 of her opponent. Ocasio-Cortez's viral campaign video in which she stated, "Women like me aren’t supposed to run for office,” resonated with voters. The video featured her riding the Subway, telling her story of working as a bartender and waitress after graduating to financially support her mother, and detailing her plans to make life better for the working class. 

photo via  The Intercept

photo via The Intercept

Donald Trump mockingly tweeted about Crowley's defeat, stating, "Perhaps he should have been nicer, and more respectful, to his President!"

If Ocasio-Cortez wins in November, she will be the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.

Kayla PasacretaComment