The Massachusetts primary election results are in, and they may surprise you. In a major win for candidates of color, Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley has beat out ten-term Democratic congressman Michael Capuano in Tuesday’s tight primary race.
Capuano, 66, was unseated by Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley, 44, who will now represent Boston’s 7th District in the House of Representatives, making her the first woman of color to represent the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in Congress.
“Clearly the district wanted a lot of change,” Capuano said when conceding to Pressley around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Pressley told Metro last week that in the era of Trump, Massachusetts needs inclusive, activist leadership to address inequality. Boston’s 7th District is considered the state’s most diverse.
Capuano on stage now conceding race for the 7th says the district voted for change. Not happy but accepts results , sorry it didn’t work out for him but that Ayana Pressley will be a great congresswoman for Mass. .#wcvb pic.twitter.com/7yDawqM2yY
— Jorge Quiroga (@JorgeWCVB) September 5, 2018
“The lens that I bring is certainly informed by my own life experiences and hardships, but more than anything, it’s a lens informed by the people I listen to in the community every day,” Pressley told Metro. “That is the activist leadership that these times require and that this district deserves.”
Many have compared Pressley’s race to that of New York’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old woman of color who recently unseated a 10-term white male incumbant. Within hours of her victory, Ocasio-Cortez endorsed Pressley on Twitter, saying, “Vote her in next, Massachusetts.”
Pressley said she and Ocasio-Cortez have both prioritized the issues of income inequality and economic disparities — “and we have both challenged conventional wisdom about who has a right to run. I was proud to support her campaign and the causes that she is championing.”
There were no Republicans on Tuesday’s ballot in the Boston district, which may have made Democratic voters more willing to take a risk on a new face, Jeffrey Berry, a political science professor at Tufts University outside Boston, told Reuters.
Both Capuano and Pressley collected high-profile endorsements, with the Boston Globe newspaper backing Pressley and the Congressional Black Caucus supporting Capuano.
More Massachusetts primary election results
Voter Turnout in Boston ran well ahead of recent primary elections, according to MassINC Polling Group. Polls closed at 8 p.m. Shortly after, the Associated Press called the following uncontested races:
-Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate
-Peter Tedeschi, Republican nomination for U.S. House in the 9th Congressional District
-Rick Green, Republican nomination for U.S. House in the 3rd Congressional District
-Joseph Schneider, Republican nomination for U.S. House in the 6th Congressional District
-Rep. Seth Moulton, Democratic nomination for U.S. House in the 6th Congressional District
-Rep. Katherine Clark, Democratic nomination for U.S. House in the 5th Congressional District
-Rep. Jim McGovern, Democratic nomination for U.S. House in the 2nd Congressional District
Sen. Elizabeth Warren tweeted after her unsurprising victory, saying:
I’m honored to be the Democratic nominee for the Massachusetts Senate seat this November. This campaign has never been just about me – it’s been about all of us fighting to level the playing field for working people. I will fight my heart out, and I hope you will too. #mapoli
— Elizabeth Warren (@elizabethforma) September 5, 2018
Republican state Rep. Geoff Diehl won the GOP primary for the chance to challenge warren in November. Incumbent Republican Gov. Charlie Baker perhaps unsurprisingly beat out his challenger, conservative minister Scott Lively.