On a night in Massachusetts when most races went as expected, Boston City Councilwoman Ayanna Pressley upset 10 term incumbent Michael Capuano to secure the Democratic nomination to the state’s 7th Congressional District. As there is no Republican candidate in the overwhelmingly Democratic district, Pressley is all but assured to be elected in November. In doing so she will be the first woman of color to represent the Bay State in Congress.
While Pressley has often been compared to Alexandra Ocassio-Cortez, who stunned long time incumbent Joe Crowley in NY-14’s Democratic primary in June, there are significant differences.
Capuano’s defeat wasn’t primarily about ideology. He is one of the most progressive members of Congress and the two differed little, if at all, over issues during the campaign.
While Capuano emphasized his seniority and relationships in Congress, Pressley repeated made tried to make the contest about a style of leadership.
Pressley, a former Capitol Hill staffer long seen as a political star, had argued that she could lead “a movement” from the seat while Capuano was content to simply vote the right way.
“Representation does matter,” Pressley said in an interview while campaigning last week. “Many would just say: Your job is the vote. I’m saying that your vote is just one part of the job.”
It’s a message that clearly resonated with voters in the district as she handily won the portion of the district in the city of Boston and Cambridge while holding Capuano to narrow margins in the rest of the townships.
In addition to Capuano and Crowley two other members of Congress, Robert Pittenger (R-NC) and Mark Sanford (R-SC) also lost their primary elections.
Another closely watched Democratic primary is in the state’s 3rd Congressional District, where Representative Niki Tsongas is retiring. As of this morning the race is still too close to call.
Elsewhere in the state Republican Governor Charlie Baker will face Democrat Jay Gonzalez. Republican Geoff Diehl won the opportunity to challenge Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren.
Full state results can be found here.
As the primary season winds to its conclusion Delaware will hold its primaries tomorrow night.