Ayanna Pressley pulled off an upset over 10-term Congressman Michael Capuano in Massachusetts’ 7th District last night — Ted Kennedy’s old district. Recognizing defeat early on, Capuano conceded only an hour after polls closed. Pressley has no Republican challenger, so she will become the first Black Congressperson in Massachusetts history.
And here’s the thing about that race: On the whole, there was nothing wrong with Michael Capuano. He was very liberal; voted against the Iraq war; and served his Massachusetts constituents well for 20 years. He also had a lot more money, name recognition, and endorsement. But the race was never really about the issues — both candidates conceded that they would probably vote the same way on almost every issue.
Capuano wasn’t particularly unpopular, either, having served 10 terms and as mayor of Somerville before that, and he didn’t phone it in, either, like Ocasio-Cortez’s incumbent opponent. He ran hard. But the folks in that district wanted change. Someone that could be more disruptive. Someone who would rightfully call Donald Trump exactly what he is, “a racist, misogynist, truly empathy bankrupt man.”
The folks in the 7th District wanted change, and the majority-minority district also wanted someone who better reflected who they are. Representation matters. However, this is not exactly like the situation in the Bronx with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, because Pressley was not a political neophyte. She served as the first black woman on the Boston City Council, and she worked for John Kerry as Secretary of State. She is more than qualified for the seat.
Anyway, here is the fantastic moment that Pressley found out she won.