Ayanna Pressley set to be first black MA congresswoman

Charlene Craig
September 6, 2018

She recently earned the endorsement of the Boston Globe.

Pressley lives in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston with her husband, Conan Harris, and stepdaughter. REUTERS/Brian SnyderIncumbent U.S. Representative Mike Capuano (D-MA) wears an "I Voted" sticker after casting his ballot in the Massachusetts Primary Election in Somerville, Massachusetts, U.S., September 4, 2018. "Here's to November." A Pressley campaign insider, meanwhile, posted a video showing the candidate the moment she learned she'd won.

The race echoes the June primary in a safely Democratic New York City congressional district where first-time candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez beat a 10-term incumbent, sparking enthusiasm for progressive candidates across the United States.

But here was Ayanna Pressley, a Boston City Council member and rising Democratic star, exhorting volunteers in a Cambridge restaurant with an impassioned performance style she learned as a child at her grandfather's storefront Baptist church in Chicago. She also joked that her "cute little yellow neon shoes" were hurting her.

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Massachusetts Democrats are eagerly turning theirs sights toward a midterm showdown with Republicans after a revolt from the progressive wing of the party toppled several longtime leaders in the state Tuesday night. My mother was a super voter. "I want to be a vote, a voice, and a partner..."

"I fundamentally believe that the people closest to the pain should be closest to the power", Pressley said on the trail.

Holding true to the event's intent, Pressley encouraged others to continue their hard work for others on the Democratic ticket.

The race drew national attention because it was seen by some as a possible indication of deeper generational and philosophical shifts within the Democratic Party, led by younger candidates who take more liberal positions on issues ranging from universal health care to immigration enforcement.

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"But change can't wait", she added.

"We are at a crossroad, this could be our darkest hour or it can be our finest".

Pressley has always been a Democratic star in the making who's been closely watched since her 2015 speech at an EMILY's List event headlined by Hillary Clinton - but, with no members of Congress retiring, had no path to the national stage. "And I want to thank you all for being foot soldiers in this movement and for ushering in this change".

"We won? we won?" she repeats as she looks around the room. "The campaign yesterday demonstrated the impact that she is going to have in Washington and that is something that is really important", Walsh said.

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