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DEMOCRATIC Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has set the cat among the pigeons for the Democratic Party establishment, ousting 10-term incumbent Representative Joe Crowley in the primary for New York’s 14th congressional district.
The young Latina activist, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, romped home despite her opponent raising 10 times as much campaign cash as she did.
“This is not an end, this is the beginning. This is the beginning because the message that we sent the world tonight is that it’s not OK to put donors before your community,” Ms Ocasio-Cortez told jubilant supporters on Tuesday night.
She cast her victory as the green shoots of triumph over the “deep midnight and darkness” of the political moment and as a message to other progressive organisers that their brand of activism could succeed on a grander scale.
Ms Ocasio-Cortez stood on a platform of universal healthcare, a federal jobs guarantee and the abolition of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) department.
She has spent time on the front line of US border policy, leaving New York last weekend to join protests at an ICE detention centre in Texas.
Ms Ocasio-Cortez tied her activism, along with her unapologetic demand for ICE abolition, to the interests of the diverse population of her Queens-Bronx district.
“We have families and communities here from Ecuador and Colombia, Bangladesh, Korea, Pakistan and I see them every day.
“Many of them are very scared about what’s going on,” she said.
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