Longtime Incumbent Ousted in NY Democratic Primary

BROOKLYN, N.Y. (CN) – In a stunning upset, a 28-year-old Democratic Socialist and political newcomer beat out a high-ranking incumbent congressman Tuesday in New York’s primary elections.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the winner of a Democratic congressional primary in New York, reacts to a passerby on June 27, 2018, in New York. Ocasio-Cortez, 28, upset U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley in Tuesday’s election. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who worked as an organizer for Senator Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential election, won 57 percent of the vote in New York’s 14th District, which includes eastern Bronx and north-central Queens. Rep. Joe Crowley, a Democrat who has been in Congress since 1999, had outraised her campaign 10 to 1.

While Crowley is Irish-American, Ocasio-Cortez is of Puerto Rican descent.

“Our district is 70 percent people of color, and we have never had a person of color represent us in American history,” Ocasio-Cortez told NowThis Politics.

As the district votes heavily Democrat, the November pitting Ocasio-Cortez against Republican Anthony Pappas is not expected to be competitive.

Further north in the Empire State, Rhodes scholar Antonio Delgado beat out six Democratic opponents in the 19th District, which includes parts of the Hudson Valley and Catskills.

The 19th went for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 but Donald Trump took it by 7 percentage points in 2016.

Delgado, a lawyer, earned 22 percent of the vote on his way to the district’s blue ticket. In November he will face off against Republican Congressman John Faso, an incumbent who ran unopposed in the primary.

The 11th District, which includes all of Staten Island and part of South Brooklyn, is the most politically conservative district in New York City. Republican incumbent Dan Donovan, endorsed by President Donald Trump, took 63 percent of the vote, soundly defeating challenger and former Congressman Michael Grimm. Donovan replaced Grimm in a 2015 special election after Grimm pleaded guilty to tax evasion, and has now solidified his claim to the red ticket.

But the district went for Obama in 2012 and Trump in 2016 and could be competitive in November. Donovan will face military veteran Max Rose, who easily beat out five other Democrats Tuesday. Rose has been named the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s “Red to Blue” list of candidates who have a chance to flip their districts from Republican to Democrat.

Rep. Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y., right, sitting next to Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr., D-N.J., left, speaks during a meeting of the House Ways and Means Committee on Capitol Hill on March 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Both Republicans and Democrats in the 21st District will have a woman on their November ballots in a region the left is eyeing as another candidate for its “blue wave.” With 56 percent of the vote Tuesday, Tedra Cobb won the Democratic ticket over four opponents. She’ll face incumbent Republican Elise Stefanik, a former aide to President George W. Bush. At 33, Stefanik is the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.

In the 24th District, which includes Syracuse, Republican incumbent John Katko will face Syracuse University professor Dana Balter, endorsed by all of the district’s Democratic county committees. She handily beat latecomer Juanita Perez Williams on Tuesday.

Ballotpedia calls the 24th District a pivotal race, as it went twice for Obama and then for Trump. In the past five general elections, the district has gone Republican three times and Democratic twice.

The death of 16-term Democratic Congresswoman Louise Slaughter in March left the Rochester-based constituents of the 25th District without a representative. Slaughter died after a fall at her home.

Assemblyman Joseph Morelle easily won the blue ticket Tuesday and in November will face Republican Jim Maxwell.

The Empire State is the only one in the country with separate federal and state primaries, the latter of which will be held in September. Currently, Democrats hold 17 of New York’s 27 congressional seats.

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