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Crowley reflects on primary defeat: ‘This loss is on me’

Greg Nash
Former Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.)

Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) on Sunday argued there were a number of factors at play in his stunning primary defeat last month to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, but ultimately took ownership for the result. 

“This loss is on me,” Crowley told CBS News’s “Face the Nation.”

Crowley said Ocasio-Cortez had a “very effective campaign,” adding that he didn’t want to “take anything away from her win.” 


However, he pointed to a few potential factors that may have contributed to the political up-and-comer’s victory. Crowley said it’s the “year of the woman,” referencing a surge in women candidates for political office this year, adding that he thinks that momentum will benefit Democrats in November. 

He also said the timing of the primary, as well as his inability to remind voters of his accomplishments, likely led to his defeat. 

“I didn’t talk about helping people in my district and reminding people where I stood,” Crowley said.

“Some people may have taken for granted that I’d been around for a while,” he continued. “I do think that turnout was low. I think it’s more reflective of some of the arcane nature of New York election law itself.”

Ocasio-Cortez’s victory has spurred conversations about the future of the Democratic Party and whether there is a need for a change in old guard leadership. Ocasio-Cortez, 28, is a self-described Democratic Socialist.

Crowley said Sunday he believes criticism of party policies are welcome, but urged officials to avoid “character assassination” and focus instead on defeating Republicans.

Ocasio-Cortez last week accused Crowley of refusing to concede in their race and mounting a third-party challenge against her. She said Crowley will remain on the November ballot as a Working Families Party candidate.

While he did not address the matter on Sunday, Crowley responded to Ocasio-Cortez’s claim on Twitter by saying that he’s made it clear he’s not running.

Tags Joe Crowley

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