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Ayanna Pressley defeats Michael Capuano in Massachusetts U.S. House race

September 5, 2018

Another 10-term incumbent went down to defeat in a Democratic primary Tuesday night.

Rep. Michael Capuano, Massachusetts Democrat, conceded the race Tuesday evening to challenger Ayanna Pressley in the state’s only majority-minority district.

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

Like Ms. Ocasio-Cortezs challenge to Rep. Joe Crowley, Ms. Pressley was looking to unseat a white male whod represented for 20 years a district that was now mostly non-white.

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

“We will vote the same way, but I will lead differently,” she said in a recent debate.

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.

Mr. Capuano had been endorsed by Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, most of the local unions, and even the black political establishment in Washington, D.C.

Rep. John Lewis, Georgia Democrat, even took a trip to Boston’s Twelfth Baptist Church to campaign for Mr. Capuano, arguing that his colleague’s experience and tenure mattered.

“People who have been around for awhile, they know their way around,” the civil-rights legend said, according to a New York Times report in May. “They know where all the bodies are buried and they know how to get things done.”

Such other black Democratic lawmakers as Rep. Maxine Waters of California and former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick also endorsed Mr. Capuano.

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