Democrats face tea party-style internal battle as progressives push for change


Her stunning upset over Crowley-a man widely touted as a possible successor to Nancy Pelosi-inevitably draws comparisons with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's June 2014 defeat by Tea Party candidate Dave Brat.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 28, defeated political veteran Joe Crowley, 56, on Tuesday night in their party's congressional primary in New York City.

A top member of the US House's Democratic leadership has been blindsided by a fresh-faced candidate who beat him in a NY election despite raising one-tenth as much money - and who is now a standard-bearer in the ongoing struggle over the party's identity.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said Mr Crowley had been an unwavering champion for America's working families for nearly two decades.

Ocasio-Cortez was Crowley's first primary challenger in more than a decade.

If she wins the reliably Democratic district in November, it will make her the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.

Soon after The Associated Press called the race, the New York City branch of the DSA tweeted congratulations to Ocasio-Cortez, saying that her victory proved "that working class people are hungry for a voice in politics". Instead, she managed to raise more small donations than any other congressional candidate in NY, which allowed her to campaign sincerely on a platform for economic justice, while exposing Crowley as a centrist who does not represent real change.

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It is fitting that the quake victory of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez over one of the most powerful Democrats in the country came sandwiched between two catastrophic U.S. supreme court decisions.

"I think we're entering the era of authenticity, and we're entering the era of the every person who can rise up and do something like this", Democratic political consultant Bradley Honan said.

The daughter of a Puerto Rican mother and Bronx-born father, Ocasio-Cortez was raised in a working-class community and took on a second job waiting tables to help her family avoid foreclosure.

Primaries were held in seven states - Colorado, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Utah - on Tuesday as voters picked candidates for the November 6 midterm elections that will determine control of Congress.

"Ocasio-Cortez responded to the tweet by quoting Pressley, "'The people closest to the pain should be closest to the power.' -@AyannaPressley. There are almost 236,000 Democrats registered in the 14th Congressional District, which covers parts of the Bronx and Queens.

Alexandria has consistently said that we need to be more progressive. "We had felt so great all day, but to see what that feeling looked like in numbers was really astonishing". This is someone who not only was one of the most powerful Democrats in the House, he does not listen or represent that actual district. She added that she does not take money from luxury real estate developers to avoid conflicts of interest. The 28-year-old Democratic Socialists of America-backed candidate proudly supports the DSA agenda of Medicare for all, housing as a human right and abolishing ICE. "I saw how all of the people-particularly the Native people and the Lakota Sioux-were putting their whole lives and everything that they had on the line for the protection of their community".

Pressley faces an uphill battle against Capuano, a 10-term incumbent.