MA 7th District: Ayanna Pressley defeats Michael Capuano

Ivan Schwartz
September 5, 2018

"In another major win for candidates of color, Boston City Council member Ayanna Pressley has won the Democratic nomination in Massachusetts' Seventh Congressional District".

Ms. Pressley, the first black woman elected to the Boston City Council, challenged Mr. Capuano from the left and on style and identity, in a pattern similar to the upset victory of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez earlier this summer in NY.

Pressley is the first woman of color ever to serve on Boston's City Council, and is set to break another barrier, becoming the first woman of color to serve in its congressional delegation.

There was little difference on issues between Ms. Pressley, 44, and Mr. Capuano, 66, but Ms. Pressley played up her potential appeal to the party's emergent progressive wing.

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She received a number of high-profile endorsements, including from the Boston Globe and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the democratic socialist who enjoyed a similar victory over Rep.

The district she's competing in includes a wide swath of Boston and about half of Cambridge as well as portions of neighboring Chelsea, Everett, Randolph, Somerville and Milton.

Pressley's win was the latest in a streak of victories by younger, more racially diverse Democratic candidates against established rivals ahead of the November 6 election when Democrats need to pick up 23 seats in the House of Representatives to serve as a more effective foil to Trump's agenda.

Pressley's campaign garnered national attention amid a summer of progressive challengers taking on - and sometimes defeating - Democratic incumbents. Pressley called for an "equity agenda" centering around public health, reducing violence, transportation, housing, and advocacy for women. Pressley's positions are also very progressive.

Both contended that Baker's support among voters was soft and that his administration had failed to make significant strides in many areas, particularly the problems plaguing the Boston-area transit system known as the 'T'. Pressley acknowledged that she and Capuano would probably vote the same way on most issues, but she has argued that she could lead "a movement" from the seat. While she was similarly outspent by her opponent, Amatul-Wadud did not raise much in her race, coming in at $113,000.

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