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Here’s what you need to know about Ayanna Pressley’s shock win in Massachusetts

“Our president is a racist, misogynistic, truly empathy-bankrupt man."
Getty Images

Progressive Ayanna Pressley pulled off a stunning upset against the Democratic incumbent in Massachusetts’ 7th Congressional District Tuesday — and immediately trained her fire on Donald Trump, calling him ”a racist, misogynistic, truly empathy-bankrupt man.”

Pressley beat 10-term Rep. Michael Capuano, and with no Republican on November’s ballot, the Boston City Council member is set to become the state’s first ever black congresswoman.


Capuano conceded with just 12 percent of the vote in, saying the voters in the state's majority-minority district "clearly wanted a lot of change."

Building on the momentum of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s victory unseating 10-term Democratic incumbent Joseph Crowley in New York in June, Pressley ran a progressive campaign that included calls for Medicare-for-all, tuition-free college, and a living wage.

READ: Why the GOP is so obsessed with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Yet unlike unlike Ocasio-Cortez, 44-year-old Pressley is an established political figure in Massachusetts, having served as a senior aide to former Sen. John Kerry and interned for former Sen. Ted Kennedy’s office.

What made the win more unexpected was that her opponent, Capuano, is a progressive himself, who supports Medicare-for-all, has frequently attacked Trump on Twitter, and is a member of the House Congressional Progressive Caucus.

An August poll had Pressley trailing Capuano by 13 points.

Addressing supporters after her win, Pressley said: “Our president is a racist, misogynistic, truly empathy-bankrupt man. It is time to show Washington, D.C., both my fellow Democrats, who I hope will stand with us, and Republicans, who may stand in our way, that change is coming and the future belongs to all of us.”

Cover image: Ayanna Pressley, Boston City Councilwomen and House Democratic candidate, gives a victory speech at her primary night gathering after her opponent Mike Capuano conceded on September 4, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Scott Eisen/Getty Images)