January 16, 2019

Women Will Run the Midterms in November

“The primary election calendar grinds on with a modest surprise in Massachusetts’ 7th District, where Ayanna Pressley defeated incumbent House Democrat Michael Capuano on Tuesday.

The upset might remind people of the New York district where Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez knocked off incumbent Joseph Crowley, but the differences are significant. Ocasio-Cortez was a first-time candidate who ran as a socialist against a relatively moderate liberal. Pressley has been on the Boston City Council since 2010, and while she’s certainly a solid liberal, so was Capuano. Ocasio-Cortez was really an outsider; Pressley is not.

What they do have in common is that they are both women, and both are probably better ethnic matches for the changing districts they might represent than the men they defeated. Pressley would be the first black woman ever in the Massachusetts congressional delegation, a group that has never had many women at all. They also beat older incumbents: Capuano is 66; Crowley is 56. Both had probably failed at least a bit to keep up with their districts, and the younger candidates took advantage.”

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