Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old former organizer for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt) pulled off the political upset of the year by unseating 10-term Democratic incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) in New York’s 14th District Tuesday night.
“I cannot believe these numbers right now,” Ocasio-Cortez said as the voting results rolled in Tuesday night at her campaign watch party. “But I do know that every single person here has worked their butt off to change the future of the Bronx and Queens.”
Ocasio-Cortez ran a grassroots campaign that despite being outspent by an 18-1 margin by Crowley’s team, which received millions in donations from donations from corporate Political Action Committees (PACs), took home 57 percent of the vote in a state the incumbent had represented for almost 20 years.
“I’m an organizer in this community, and I knew living here and being here and seeing and organizing with families here, that it was possible,” Ocasio-Cortez told The New York Times in an interview at her victory party on Tuesday. “I knew that it was long odds, and I knew that it was uphill, but I always knew it was possible.”
Ocasio-Cortez, who will likely go on to become the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, spoke with IJR just days before her historic victory.
“We cannot afford to elect the same exact Democratic party that we had going into this mess,” the Democratic nominee said. “What the American people are really looking for is to hear a candidate, anybody in politics, speaking with clarity about their lives and their values. When someone speaks with that clarity, it resonates naturally with the American electric.”
“Our current incumbents are so disconnected from voters. And because they are, they aren’t speaking to them,” she added.
Crowley, who also chairs the Queens County Democrats, issued a statement congratulating Ocasio-Cortez on her victory while also vowing to back her and all Democrats in the upcoming general election.
“I want to congratulate @Ocasio2018. I look forward to supporting her and all Democrats this November,” he tweeted.
— katie honan (@katie_honan) June 27, 2018
“This is for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez,” Crowley said holding a guitar at his viewing party Tuesday night before breaking into a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run,” a song that was released 14 years before the newly crowned Democratic nominee was born.