In a stunning upset with national ramifications, civic activist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has defeated Congressman Joe Crowley — a 20-year Congressional incumbent and one of the leading Democrats on Capitol Hill — in Tuesday’s Congressional Primary.
With 96.1 percent of the precincts reporting, Ocasio-Cortez has a more than 4,100-vote lead on Crowley in the 14th Congressional District race covering northwest Queens and the eastern Bronx. At about 9:50 p.m., the Associated Press called the race for Ocasio-Cortez.
According to the New York City Board of Elections, Ocasio-Cortez has 15,897 votes (57.30 percent) to Crowley’s 11,761 (42.39 percent). It’s one the biggest shockers in recent New York political history. Crowley, who heads the Queens County Democratic Party, is chair of the House Democratic Caucus and had been rumored to be among the potential replacements to Nancy Pelosi as leader of the Democrats on Capitol Hill.
Ocasio-Cortez, a civic activist from the Bronx, ran an upstart campaign as Crowley’s first primary challenger in 14 years. She ran to the left of Crowley on many issues and charged that the incumbent had been out of touch with his constituents in the rapidly changing area.
Crowley conceded defeat in a statement received by QNS at 10:17 p.m.: “It has been the honor of a lifetime to represent Queens and the Bronx. I am proud of the race we ran and, more importantly, proud of all of the work we’ve done to advance this community. I want to congratulate Ms. Ocasio-Cortez on her victory tonight. I look forward to supporting her and all Democrats this November. The Trump administration is a threat to everything we stand for here in Queens and the Bronx, and if we don’t win back the House this November, we will lose the nation we love. This is why we must come together. We will only be able to stop Donald Trump and the Republican Congress by working together, as a united Democratic Party.”
The 14th District includes the Queens neighborhoods of Astoria, College Point, Corona, East Elmhurst, Elmhurst, Flushing, Sunnyside and Woodside. With Democrats far outnumbering Republicans district-wide, it’s a near-certainty that Ocasio-Cortez will go on to win the seat in the November general election.
This is a developing story; a full report from the Ocasio-Cortez headquarters will be posted later tonight on QNS.