Ayanna Pressley stunned the political establishment last week when she upset 10-term Rep. Michael Capuano during the Democratic primary in Massachusetts.
With another win in the November general election — a near-certainty in the heavily Democratic 7th District once represented by John F. Kennedy, with no Republican on the ballot — Pressley, 44, would make history as the first Black woman to represent the state in the U.S. House.
“It seems like change is on the way,” Pressley told her supporters following her Sept. 4 primary win. “People who feel seen and heard for the first time in their lives, a stakehold in democracy and a promise for our future. That is the real victory, that is bigger than any electoral victory. And I want to thank you all for being foot soldiers in this movement and for ushering in this change.”
No stranger to taking on a challenge, Pressley successfully ran for Boston City Council in 2009, becoming the first woman of color elected to the council in its 100-year history. She was re-elected in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017.
In 2016, the New York Times named her among 14 Young Democrats to Watch, and in 2018, Boston Magazine placed her at number 20 for the 100 Most Influential People in Boston.
During her victory speech, Pressley said she supports the impeachment of President Donald Trump, calling him a “racist, misogynistic, truly empathy-bankrupt man.”
“This is a big wake-up call to any incumbent on the ballot in November,” Mary Anne Marsh, a Boston-based Democratic strategist, told The Times. “We’ve been in a change election cycle for years. But Trump may have opened the door for all these young candidates, women, people of color, because voters want the antithesis of him.”