Millennial progressive Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wins New York election

    New York 14th district results

    It’s official. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has won the 14th House District in New York, defeating Republican opponent Anthony Pappas in a landslide election. In a historic move, the 29-year-old Latina is now the youngest woman ever elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Although her win was largely predictable, Ocasio-Cortez’s popularity was not.

    Ocasio-Cortez gained national attention after her defeat of 10-term incumbent, Joseph Crowley, in New York’s Democratic primary. With a progressive platform founded on social justice, the abolition of ICE and Medicare for all, Ocasio-Cortez ran a hard left campaign that went largely unreported by national media. Additionally, her campaign refused to accept corporate money in an unusual financial strategy decision. Despite this, voters turned out in June, and today was no exception.

    New York faces voting issues

    Potential voters in New York met difficulties today upon reaching locked polling places, malfunctioning ballot scanners and long lines. Many blame Michael Ryan, head of the Board of Elections.

    “Bad weather and high turnouts are no excuse when we have forecasts for both,” City Council Speaker Corey Johnson tweeted. “Michael Ryan needs to resign and we need a full top to bottom review of what went wrong today.”

    It was reported that half the scanners were broken at a polling site in Crown Heights. After a two-hour wait, one voter admitted she was forced to drop her ballot in an “emergency ballot box.”

    The platform of Ocasio-Cortez

    A democratic socialist, Ocasio-Cortez was born in the Bronx to two working-class parents. She has a background in education and worked for Senator Ted Kennedy on family immigration cases.

    Now that she has been elected, Ocasio-Cortez is expected to further promote the notion of Medicare for all. Critics argue the cost of this progressive proposal, forecast at over $30 trillion, is overly expensive. Ocasio-Cortez refuted this argument at CNN’s State of the Union in September.

    "What we need to realize is these investments are better and good for our future,” stated Ocasio-Cortez. “These are generational investments.”

    In correlation with her previous immigration work, Ocasio-Cortez made abolishing ICE one of her main campaign issues. She later clarified her stance in a tweet.

    Not only is Ocasio-Cortez’s win a huge step for progressives, but it’s also a historic move toward increased political diversity.

    “In terms of the politics of diversity, the 2018 midterms will be a very interesting test case for the future of the nation,” said Alvin Tillery, an associate professor of political science at Northwestern, in a statement. “By 2040, America will be a majority-minority nation. President Trump uses this reality to demagogue on the issue of immigration in order to gin up turnout among his hardcore supporters... while this strategy may work in the solidly red districts, it is unlikely to bring in new voters in an election where health care and the economy have registered in polls as the most important issues.”


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