Ayanna Pressley wins Democratic primary- will become first Black congresswoman in Massachusetts

Pressley beat out Rep. Mike Capuano, a Democrat who'd been in office since 1998.

According to her bio, Ayanna Pressley is an advocate, a policy-maker, an activist, and survivor. She is currently seeking the Democratic nomination for the Massachusetts 7th Congressional District and was the first woman of color elected to the Boston City Council in its 100-year history. (Courtesy of AnyannaPressley.com)


Ayanna Pressley just pulled off another stunner.

Tuesday night, Pressley, the first woman of color to win a Boston City Council seat, won the Democratic primary for Congress, beating out 10-term Democrat Mike Capuano with 53 percent of the vote.

It’s a race that many establishment Democrats wanted to go the other way, with black political leaders like John Lewis, Congresswoman Maxine Waters and Governor Deval Patrick, endorsing Pressley’s opponent Capuano.

Pressley cried tears of joy after receiving the news of her win.

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“I knew we would be essentially, alone,” Pressley said during her victory speech. “I knew we would find no favor with the Democratic establishment both here at home and in Washington.  I knew we would have to fight… for every voter.”

“I knew I would be demonized as entitled and what no woman would can ever be, ambitious. But change can win,” she said to loud cheers.

“Ayanna Pressley is going to be a good Congresswoman and Massachusetts is going to be well served,” Capuano said in his concession speech.

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

Pressley, who represents the 7th district, one of Massachusetts’ most diverse, has advocated for a progressive agenda, which includes abolishing ICE, increased mental health care services in schools and medicare for all.