28-Year-Old Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Wins Primary, Backing Medicare for All and Abolishing ICE

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: In a stunning upset and the biggest surprise of the primary season this year, 28-year-old Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has beat out 10-term incumbent Representative Joe Crowley in New York. Crowley is the fourth-ranking Democrat in the House, and he’d outraised Ocasio-Cortez by a 10-to-1 margin. Crowley was widely viewed as a possible future House speaker, yet Ocasio-Cortez defeated him after running a progressive grassroots campaign that advocated “Medicare for All” and the abolition of ICE, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

AMY GOODMAN: Just days before the primary, she left New York City to go to Tornillo, Texas, to protest family separation at the border. Nearly 70 percent of Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign funds came from individual contributions under $200. This is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez reacting to the news of her win, live on NY1 when she looked up at the TV screen Tuesday night.

RUSCHELL BOONE: She’s right here. I can let you know—

ALEXANDRIA OCASIOCORTEZ: Oh, my god!

RUSCHELL BOONE: She’s looking at herself on television right now. How are you feeling? Can you put it into words?

ALEXANDRIA OCASIOCORTEZ: No, I cannot put this into words.

RUSCHELL BOONE: All right, your supporters here are very excited for you.

ALEXANDRIA OCASIOCORTEZ: Hi.

RUSCHELL BOONE: This was grassroots campaign.

ALEXANDRIA OCASIOCORTEZ: It absolutely was.

RUSCHELL BOONE: Can you believe the numbers that you’re seeing right now?

ALEXANDRIA OCASIOCORTEZ: I cannot believe these numbers right now. But I do know that every single person here has worked their butt off to change the future of the Bronx and Queens. That’s what I know. That’s what I know. And that this victory belongs to every single grassroots organizer, every working parent, every mom, every member of the LGBTQ community. Every single person is responsible for this.

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