Across the US, younger, ethnically diverse candidates, many of them with far-left platforms, are reshaping the Democratic Party. However, in liberal Boston, progressivism is nothing new.
The story is becoming a familiar one. A younger, black woman defeating an older white man who has comfortably held his post for decades, despite the former raising less money and trailing in the polls.
Progressive Democrat Ayanna Pressley defeated 10-term incumbent Michael Capuano in the Massachusetts primary on Tuesday. Her victory comes on the back of 28-year-old self-professed socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s shock win in New York over Rep. Joe Crowley, also a 10-term incumbent, in June.
It also comes after (in a variation on the theme) Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, a Democrat, made history by becoming Florida’s first black gubernatorial nominee last week, defeating frontrunner Gwen Graham.
Rep. Michael Capuano, a 20-year veteran in Congress, conceded defeat Tuesday night in his first primary challenge since he took office. Pressley, a 44-year-old African-American woman, campaigned on a progressive platform that included providing universal health care, ending immigration enforcement and deportation, eliminating student debt, and raising the minimum wage.
Pressley had the endorsement of Ocasio-Cortez, whose victory in New York this summer prompted Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez to declare her “the future of our party,” as the party shifts leftward from the watery managerialism of Hillary Clinton and her ilk.