Longtime Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.), who’s been viewed as a potential House Speaker, is projected to lose the Democratic primary, a massive upset that will shake up the political world in New York and Washington.
The Associated Press called the race around 9:50 p.m. EDT. With 88 percent of precincts reporting, Ocasio-Cortez was leading Crowley, 57.6 percent to 42.4 percent.
Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old organizer for Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDemocrats urge Biden to commute sentences of 4K people on home confinement Briahna Joy Gray: Push toward major social spending amid pandemic was 'short-lived' Sanders 'disappointed' in House panel's vote on drug prices MORE’s (I-Vt.) presidential campaign, defeated Crowley in his deep-blue district that encompasses northwest Queens and the eastern Bronx.
Crowley, who’s chairman of the House Democratic caucus, is the third incumbent to lose a primary this cycle, but the first sitting Democratic member to be defeated.
This is the first time in 14 years that Crowley, 56, has faced a primary challenger. Crowley has long been seen as a potential successor to House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Pelosi plows full speed ahead on jam-packed agenda Jan. 6 committee taps former Bush administration official as top lawyer Ocasio-Cortez, Bush push to add expanded unemployment in .5T spending plan MORE (D-Calif.). And he's been a staple in New York City politics as chairman of the Queens County Democratic Party.
Crowley congratulated Ocasio-Cortez on her primary victory, offering his support to her and took a jab at President TrumpDonald TrumpOvernight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Interior returns BLM HQ to Washington France pulls ambassadors to US, Australia in protest of submarine deal MORE. At his election night party, Crowley played Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run.”
“The Trump administration is a threat to everything we stand for here in Queens and the Bronx, and if we don't win back the House this November, we will lose the nation we love,” Crowley said in a statement Tuesday night.
“This is why we must come together. We will only be able to stop Donald Trump and the Republican Congress by working together, as a united Democratic Party."
Trump also weighed in on Crowley’s stunning defeat, tweeting that he was a “big Trump hater” and should have been “nice.”
Ocasio-Cortez's campaign gained significant traction when a campaign video went viral late last month. She earned high-profile endorsements from national progressive groups including Sanders-aligned Our Revolution, MoveOn.org and Justice Democrats.
Political observers have likened Ocasio-Cortez’s upset to House Majority Leader Eric CantorEric Ivan CantorBottom line Virginia GOP candidates for governor gear up for convention Cantor: 'Level of craziness' in Washington has increased 'on both sides' MORE’s (R-Va.) unexpected primary loss in 2014 to now-Rep. Dave Brat.
New York’s 14th District is one of the most diverse districts in the country, with Hispanics making up half of the population. Ocasio-Cortez is a first-time candidate, with a mother born in Puerto Rico and a father from the Bronx.
Ocasio-Cortez was one of several insurgent, millennial challengers to challenge entrenched Democratic incumbents in New York City on Tuesday. She ran on the need for new representation, criticizing Crowley for living outside the district. His family owns a home outside of Washington, D.C.
She was also heavily outspent by Crowley, who’s been a formidable fundraiser. The congressman spent $3.4 million, while Ocasio-Cortez spent just $200,000.
“This race is about people versus money. We’ve got people, they’ve got money,” Ocasio-Cortez said her viral campaign video.
Ocasio-Cortez scored some last-minute help from the field organizer for Democrat Ayanna Pressley, a Boston City councilor who’s running in a primary against Rep. Michael CapuanoMichael (Mike) Everett CapuanoBottom line Hillicon Valley: Election officials prepare for new Russian interference battle | 'Markeyverse' of online fans helps take down a Kennedy | GOP senators unveil bill to update tech liability protections 'Markeyverse' of online fans helps take down a Kennedy MORE (D-Mass.).
Crowley had scored some big endorsements from colleagues, but one lawmaker endorsement in particular riled up those in progressive circles.
Rep. Ro KhannaRohit (Ro) KhannaEquilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by The American Petroleum Institute — Dems demand accounting from Big Oil Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Emissions heading toward pre-pandemic levels Democrats call for oil company executives to testify on disinformation campaign MORE (D-Calif.), a progressive lawmaker who won his own primary challenge against an incumbent in 2016, initially backed Crowley. But after pressure from progressives on social media, Khanna issued a dual endorsement.
While Ocasio-Cortez is so far the only primary challenger to knock off an incumbent, other upstart candidates had strong performances.
Democrat Adem Bunkeddeko, a 30-year-old first-time candidate, is just 2 points behind Democratic Rep. Yvette ClarkeYvette Diane ClarkeImmigrants stepped up during the pandemic — we must do the same for them Bipartisan House group introduces legislation to set term limit for key cyber leader Hillicon Valley — Industry groups want more time to report cybersecurity incidents MORE, who’s been in office since 2007.
Democratic Rep. Carolyn MaloneyCarolyn MaloneyOvernight Defense & National Security: US-Australian sub deal causes rift with France Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Emissions heading toward pre-pandemic levels Oversight Republicans seek testimony from Afghanistan watchdog MORE also had her first primary challenge since 2010, but she defeated her opponent Suraj Patel, a 34-year-old hotel executive and professor. She won by double-digits, 58 percent to nearly 42 percent.