June 26 (UPI) — Rep. Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., the fourth-ranking member of the House Democrats, was defeated by 28-year-old Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in a primary race Tuesday night.
Crowley, 56, hadn’t lost a primary in 14 years in his district, which encompasses Bronx and Queens, N.Y., and he was widely believed to be the successor to Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., as the House Minority leader. But those plans were stopped by Ocasio, who launched an upstart campaign based on being more progressive and more attuned to working class needs.
Crowley was predicted to win the race against Ocasio, a former presidential campaign staffer for Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and had the backing of the Democratic Party establishment. But Ocasio won nearly 58 percent of the vote, compared to Crowley’s 42 percent.
“Almost two years ago, I started what was then a completely ‘impossible’ bid for Congress. Since then, everything has changed,” Ocasio wrote on Twitter shortly before the race was called in her favor.
President Donald Trump took the time to blast Crowley, a fellow Queens native who has been a harsh critic.
“Wow! Big Trump Hater Congressman Joe Crowley, who many expected was going to take Nancy Pelosi’s place, just LOST his primary election. In other words, he’s out!” Trump tweeted. “That is a big one that nobody saw happening. Perhaps he should have been nicer, and more respectful, to his President!”
Ocasio will go on to face Republican candidate Anthony Pappas and Conservative Party candidate Elizabeth Perri in November. But Democratic candidates in the Bronx and Queens are usually heavily favored to win congressional seats.