Top Democrat Crowley loses in shocker
Old white-guy "party boss" defeated by a young latina woman and socialist.Rep. Joe Crowley was unseated Tuesday night by primary challenger Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in his New York City district, an astonishing fall for the powerful chairman of the House Democratic Caucus just as talk was building in Washington that he was a potential future speaker of the House.
Crowley became the highest-profile Democrat to lose a primary this year, and the highest-ranking House member to lose an intra-party fight since Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost in 2014. Crowley, the longtime Democratic Party boss in Queens, had not faced a primary challenger in over a decade. But Ocasio-Cortez's activist campaign overran Crowley's old-guard support and cast more uncertainty on the future of Democrats' leadership in the House.
Ocasio-Cortez, 28, challenged Crowley on ideological, generational and racial grounds, arguing that the 10-term congressman was not in step with his majority-minority district and was too cozy with corporate donors. A former Bernie Sanders organizer, Ocasio-Cortez campaigned on abolishing the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and pushing the Medicare-for-all bill championed by Sanders.
Born in the Bronx to a Puerto Rican mother, she also made the district's diversity a central message of her campaign.
“We meet a machine with a movement, and that is what we have done today," Ocasio-Cortez told NY1 before the race was called. "I think what we’ve seen is that working class Americans want a clear champion and there is nothing radical about moral clarity in 2018.”
Ocasio-Cortez took 57 percent of the Democratic primary vote to 43 percent for Crowley.
In a statement conceding defeat, Crowley said he was "proud of the race we ran" and congratulated Ocasio-Cortez, pledging to support her in the fall.
"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. This is why we must come together," Crowley said.