Progressives just scored a bombshell victory in New York special election


They said it couldn’t be done, but Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a card-carrying member of the Democratic Socialists of America, just beat Rep. Joe Crowley, a ten-term incumbent, in a major upset in the Democratic primary in New York’s 14th Congressional district, covering parts of the east Bronx and northwest Queens.

Ocasio-Cortez will now go onto the general election in November as the Democratic candidate for Congress where she is expected to win handily in a district that has never given the Democratic candidate less than 60% of the vote since the turn of the century.

The upset was particularly shocking, not only because of Crowley’s long-term incumbency and ensuing fourth-place seniority in Democratic Congressional leadership but because of his 10-1 fundraising advantage over his young challenger.

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The 28-year-old Ocasio-Cortez ran against the leader of the Queens County Democrats on a platform unapologetically to the left of Crowley, demanding universal health care, a federal jobs guarantee, and the abolition of ICE, among other long-desired progressive goals.

While Crowley espoused many of the same goals, his close ties to big money on Wall Street and his failure to bother to show up at scheduled debates with Ocasio-Cortez hurt him with an electorate eager for change.

Political pundits were flabbergasted by the upset, calling it the biggest political surprise since then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was defeated in the California Republican primary by his Tea Party-backed opponent David Brat in 2014.


Ocasio-Cortez spoke about her remarkable campaign in a series of tweets that she sent right before the final results of the primary were announced.

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Hopefully, Ocasio-Cortez’s upset victory will embolden Democrats across the country to show their true progressive colors while campaigning and cease their cynical triangulation strategy of tacking toward the center to attract the few moderate Republicans that still exist.

With this surprising win, Ocasio-Cortez proves that “Socialism” isn’t the boogeyman anymore. It’s no longer a dirty word used to smear candidates, but a lofty goal of inclusion, equal justice, and the sharing of our economic resources for the benefit of all rather than the government of the wealthy, by the wealthy, and for the wealthy that we currently endure.


Onwards and upwards, my friends! On to victory in November and the re-taking of Congress.

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Vinnie Longobardo

Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile, & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.