Yesterday’s Democratic primary elections in Massachusetts saw another shock win by a young woman of color against a long-time incumbent.
It wasn’t supposed to happen. Ayanna Pressley trailed Rep. Joe Capuano by 13 percentage points in the last poll before Tuesday’s Democratic primary to represent Massachusetts’s 7th district in Congress. When Capuano, a 10-term incumbent, conceded an hour after the polls closed, he was trailing Pressley by 18 points. Because there is no Republican running in the district, the 44-year-old Pressley, who in 2009 became Boston’s first female African-American city council member, is now expected to become the first African-American woman from the state to serve in the House of Representatives. The victory is yet a another sign of a demographic sea change taking place within the Democratic party, with constituents opting for fresh, aggressively progressive candidates over establishment mainstays. Appropriately, Pressley’s campaign slogan was #ChangeCantWait.