Mass. politicians react to Ayanna Pressley's victory over Michael Capuano

Chip Somodevilla  Getty Images FILE

Chip Somodevilla Getty Images FILE

On Tuesday, Boston City Council member Ayanna Pressley (the first black woman on that city council) won a stunning victory over 10-term incumbent Rep. Michael Capuano (D-Mass.). With no Republican challenger, she is poised to become the state's first black woman in Congress. Capuano has been an established progressive Democrat, supporting issues like single-payer healthcare. Zakim also picked up the Massachusetts Democratic Party's official endorsement.

She will not face a Republican opponent in November's mid-term election. She's now slated to be Massachusetts' first-ever African-American congressmember.

Pressley tapped into growing cries within the Democratic Party for newer, more diverse leadership.

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"You saw what I saw: That these times demanded more from our leaders and our party", Pressley declared in her victory speech in Boston Tuesday night.

They were contesting a primary to run for the seat held by U.S. Representative Niki Tsongas, who is retiring after 11 years.

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Coupled with Pressley's compelling candidacy, a low-turnout primary the day after Labor Day, and district lines that were redrawn in 2011, Capuano was clearly vulnerable.

Pressley has served on Boston's city council since 2009, with a mandate to support women and girls. She joins a number of other black women who've won their primaries this year, including Stacey Abrams, who's running for governor in Georgia, Lauren Underwood, running for a congressional seat in IL, and Jahana Hayes, who's also running for a seat in Congress from CT.

Ayanna Pressley is heading to the US Congress in the latest remarkable upset in this year's primaries in advance of the November midterm elections.

Pressley, 44, is a Chicago native, former community organizer, and former political aide who worked for Democrats such as Senator John Kerry.

Pressley has been open about her background-her father was incarcerated for most of her youth and she is a survivor of sexual assault. "I voted for Pressley because she has and will challenge polices", she said.

In the general election, Ms. Pressley will be heavily favored in the 7th Congressional District, which covers parts of Boston and its heavily Democratic suburbs and that backed Hillary Clinton with 84 percent of its vote in the 2016 presidential race.

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