Vindicator Logo

In Massachusetts primary stunner, Pressley unseats incumbent Rep. Capuano

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

BOSTON (AP) — In a political stunner, incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano conceded defeat in today's primary to Ayanna Pressley, a Boston city councilor who is virtually assured of becoming the first black woman to serve Massachusetts in Congress.

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker won his party's nomination for a second term, defeating Scott Lively, a conservative minister and staunch supporter of President Donald Trump who frequently called Baker – a frequent critic of the president – a RINO, or Republican in Name Only. Baker will face Democrat Jay Gonzalez.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren sailed through the primary unopposed. She'll face Geoff Diehl, a state representative who served as co-chairman of Trump's 2016 campaign in the state and defeated two other Republicans for his party's nomination.

The race between Capuano and Pressley was perhaps the most closely watched contest in Massachusetts. The challenge from Pressley, the first black woman to serve on the council, had drawn some comparisons to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who defeated 10-term New York Rep. Joe Crowley in a stunning upset in a Democratic primary in June. Both races highlight rifts within the Democratic Party, with many younger voters embracing new and more diverse political leadership.

The Associated Press has not yet officially called the race based on partial results. The congressional district is the only one in the state where minorities comprise a majority of the population.

"This is a fight for the soul of our party and the future of our democracy," Pressley said today while campaigning in the district. "And a reliable vote is not good enough."

Capuano is considered one of the most liberal members of the Massachusetts delegation, and Pressley had acknowledged she had few major policy quarrels with him.