Congressman Joe Crowley suffered a surprising defeat in the Democratic primary losing to a young, determined social activist, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, a 28 year latina.
The 10-term Congressman has been a progressive Democrat in the Queens,Bronx community and has championed liberal causes on behalf of the community in particular minority priorities and support of the aviation community through Vaughn College.
Crowley had been seen as a possible successor to House leader Nancy Pelosi. But now, that path is not blocked and it remains to be seen who is now up for Speaker job.
Said one supporter, “It was all of the little things he did; his staff were always responsive. Anytime we needed his support on a bill pertaining to education he listened, and when you talked to him he was always eager to know the story behind the details. He is a genuinely nice man who loves this community”.
The winner, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez’s had this message, “It’s time to put the working class first” Ocasio-Cortez, aligned with the progressive Democratic Socialists of America, took down 14-year incumbent Joseph Crowley in a primary day romp 15,897 to 11,761 to become the next Democratic Party candidate to run for the 14th Congressional seat in November’s general election.
“Every person out here changed America tonight,” she said while standing atop a barstool in the crowded Bronx pool hall that held her election watch party. “This victory tonight belongs to every person in this room,” the victor declared.
While only 13 percent of the registered Democratic Party voters bothered to cast a ballot, Ocasio-Cortez’ won both the Bronx and Queens portions of the district.
While nabbing the Bronx’s 36 percent of the district, 4,093 to 3,541, she demolished the man everyone was touting as the next speaker of the House in his home borough, where he is also the Democratic party leader, 11,804 to 8,220.
“Now we’re going to organize the community, we will have town halls, focus on housing improvement, stop forecloses, rent increases and forced rezoning,” the 28-year-old said. “We can’t wash our hands of these local issues, it’s time we bring the fight home”.
The insurgent’s campaign that started with clipboards in plastic bags, overcame being outspent 18 to 1 per vote from the establishment-based Crowley. “It’s no secret he’s very well financed,” Ocasio-Cortez said days before her first primary election ever. “But people don’t know him, especially the Bronx, so we aren’t scared of big money because we have big people,” the Parkchester native added.
Without the funds available to take out major ads like Crowley, she turned to social media.
“I had to bartend, I had to wait tables, I know what it’s like to be a working class New Yorker,” Ocasio-Cortez said as she criticized Crowley for not even living within his district any more. “I grew up uninterested in politics, I thought it was just a local political machine,” she added.