Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez–a 28-year old socialist and Bronx native–has just secured an upset victory in the Democratic primary against 14-year incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley, a 56-year-old who out-fundraised her ten-to-one.
While Crowley drew donations heavily from PACs and corporations, Ocasio-Cortez refused to take any corporate money and in the end raised about $300,000 from individuals with an average donation of $18. While Ocasio-Cortez ran her campaign on a Spanish language-first site and personally campaigned door-to-door, Crowley has been perceived as out-of-touch from his constituents (he reportedly sends his children to a school in Northern Virginia).
Crowley conceded almost immediately, saying, “I wish nothing but the best for Ms. Ocasio-Cortez. I want her to be victorious in the November elections.”
Ocasio-Cortez started out in politics as an organizer for Bernie Sanders; a year and a half ago, she was working at a restaurant and finally quit her job to go all-in on the campaign in February, living off her savings.
Crowley has held his seat mainly unchallenged; the New York Times notes that the last time he faced a primary challenge was in 2004, when Ocasio-Cortez was not old enough to vote. He has been widely viewed as a favorite to succeed Nancy Pelosi.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told Jezebel in an interview that her main priorities are the humanitarian crisis at the border and Medicare for all.