In a surprising turn of events, Massachusetts witnessed the major upset of a Democratic Congressman on Tuesday night and that too with a double digit margin. The 20-year incumbent Republican Michael Capuano (D-MA) was triumphed by the 44-year old Boston City Councilor, Ayanna Pressley. This could be accounted as the second shocker in the primary season where a long-term lawmaker was forced to bite the dust by a female progressive challenger. It also means that the liberal base is looking forward to new avenues in their representation.
The compelling candidacy of Pressley along with redrawn district lines in 2011 and a late primary after Labor Day were some of the factors that rendered Capuano’s position vulnerable. Within over an hour after completion of the polls, many assumptions started to make the rounds at Capuano’s victory party implying the Congressman’s preparation for conceding. Interestingly, a few minutes later, Capuano did the same much ahead of the announcement of results. Capuano stated that he was apologetic that the results did not come in his favor and that Ayanna Pressley would prove to be a good congresswoman. He also added that Massachusetts would be well served.
Upon hearing the news that she had pulled off a big upset, Pressley and one of her aides almost burst into tears. Pressley being the first woman of color to be elected to the city council along with her stories of difficult upbringing made her the most reasonable choice to represent change in the district including major part of Boston and few areas of Somerville and Cambridge.
Despite the limited disparities in views of Pressley and Capuano on substantive policy, Pressley is considered as one of the most ardent progressives of the House. She has presented herself as the person who would don the role of an activist leader and would be committed to working on behalf of the district rather than emphasizing on liberal legislation.