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#AbolishICE Dem defeats long-standing incumbent in New York primary
It is one of the biggest wins for the progressive left—maybe ever.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a 28-year-old Democratic Socialist you may never have heard of until now.
But tonight, she became one of the biggest names in politics when she took down Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) in a New York House primary unabashedly, challenging him from the left and pulling off a huge upset.
Ocasio-Cortez was declared the winner around 9:00pm ET tonight, and her reaction when she realized she might win instantly captured the internet’s heart.
This video of @Ocasio2018 seeing the election results live on NY1 is wonderful. And nice @DemSocialists t-shirt in the background. Thank you @nycdsa for helping to make this happen!!! pic.twitter.com/GRNYY0GlZv— Stephanie Palumbo (@SJPalumbo) June 27, 2018
She also practically live tweeted her shocking upset.
Almost two years ago, I started what was then a completely ‘impossible’ bid for Congress.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) June 27, 2018
Since then, everything has changed.
Now, there’s only 20 minutes left.
And it feels great.
Crowley was one of the highest-ranking Democrats in the House and was considered a possible contender for Speaker of the House if Democrats took the House in 2019.
Instead, he lost to the political neophyte who ran far to the left of him. Ocasio-Cortez, a former Bernie Sanders organizer, took an extremely progressive platform, speaking out about abolishing the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency.
The child detention camps are here - I confronted the border officers myself.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) June 24, 2018
Using their names, I told them exactly what they are responsible for.
One of them made eye contact with me.
I spoke directly to him.
I saw his sense of guilt.
We can dismantle this.#AbolishICE pic.twitter.com/QLyc9MAnkt
It was a platform Ocasia-Cortez adopted long before it became messaging for more centrist Dems. She has been an advocate for a federal jobs guarantee and Medicaid for all, positions that, along with her ICE stance, put her firmly to the left of America’s most popular progressive, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I.-Vt.).
Crowley’s district, the New York 14th in Queens and the Bronx, has a large Hispanic population and saw an increase in ICE raids that Ocasia-Cortez campaigned against.
WATCH: "The only way you defeat an incumbent is by outworking them." Back in November, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez @ocasio2018 gave us tips on how to defeat an incumbent. Tonight she did it. https://t.co/8OVgwsXyWq pic.twitter.com/yTmmU1sX1Z— WNYC 🎙 (@WNYC) June 27, 2018
Crowley conceded the race on Twitter and said he would campaign for her.
I want to congratulate @Ocasio2018. 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.— Joe Crowley (@JoeCrowleyNY) June 27, 2018
After seeing the Crowley defeat, President Donald Trump weighed in on Twitter, although it appears he missed the message.
Wow! Big Trump Hater Congressman Joe Crowley, who many expected was going to take Nancy Pelosi’s place, just LOST his primary election. In other words, he’s out! That is a big one that nobody saw happening. Perhaps he should have been nicer, and more respectful, to his President!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 27, 2018
Somehow it seems unlikely Ocasio-Cortez is planning to run on a promise to be nicer to Donald Trump.
David Covucci is the Layer 8 editor at the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the web. His work has appeared in Vice, the Huffington Post, Jezebel, Gothamist, and other publications. He is particularly interested in hearing any tips you have. Reach out at [email protected]