The centrist establishment wing of the Democratic Party on Tuesday suffered a major upset in races in New York and Maryland. The most shocking upset of all, that represents perhaps the greatest electoral progressive victory in years, is the unexpected win by 28-year old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of the Democratic nomination for New York's District 14 Congressional seat.
The young Latina and mother of two is part Puerto-Rican, and campaigned on a strongly progressive platform of Medicare-for-All, free college tuition, and a federal jobs guarantee. She is a proud member of the Democratic Socialists of America and received the endorsement of Senator Bernie Sanders as well as New York's progressive gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon. Ocasio-Cortez ousted top Democrat Joe Crowley who is considered the fourth highest-ranking Democrat in the House and was potentially going to succeed Nancy Pelosi. Crowley held that seat for 19 years and no one was more surprised by Ocasio-Cortez's primary win than the victor herself.
In Maryland there was another progressive victory when former NAACP Chairman Ben Jealous won the Democratic nomination for the Governor's seat, beating out a moderate Democrat. Jealous will face off against Republican incumbent Governor Larry Hogan, who wasted no time in releasing a negative ad on Wednesday morning. Mr. Jealous was also endorsed by Senator Sanders, and by several progressive organizations.
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