(CNN)Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old Latina running her first campaign, ousted 10-term incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley in New York’s 14th congressional district, CNN projects, in the most shocking upset of a rollicking political season.
Ocasio-Cortez, an activist and member of the Democratic Socialists of America, won over voters in the minority-majority district with a ruthlessly efficient grassroots bid, even as Crowley — the fourth-ranked Democrat in the House — outraised her by a 10-to-1 margin.This was the first time in 14 years a Democrat has attempted unseat Crowley, who chairs the Queens County Democrats. His defeat marks a potential sea change in party politics — a result with implications for Democrats nationwide that would recall, as optimistic progressives routinely noted during the campaign, former GOP Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s loss to the insurgent, tea party-backed Dave Brat in June 2014.Even as Ocasio-Cortez runs defiantly to his left — with universal health care, a federal jobs guarantee and the abolition of ICE headlining her demands — Crowley leaned on what was a formidable liberal record. He was the first member of the House Democratic leadership to sign on in support of “Medicare for all” and has been a vocal advocate for immigrants’ rights. But Crowley stumbled repeatedly on the campaign trail, the likely residue of going so long without a primary test.Citing scheduling conflicts, he missed a debate in the Bronx with Ocasio-Cortez, sending former city councilwoman Annabel Palma as a surrogate. The New York Times editorial board took note of his no-show, and warned the ambitious congressman against taking his constituents for granted.