On Tuesday, Ayanna Pressley joined the crop of progressive candidates of color who have defeated establishment-backed lawmakers this primary season after her decisive victory in the Massachusetts 7th District race.
The 44-year-old lawmaker, who eight years ago became the first Black woman ever elected to the Boston City Council, defeated Rep. Mike Capuano, a 10-term incumbent. Without a Republican challenger in November, Pressley is set to become the first Black woman to ever represent the state of Massachusetts in Congress.
A viral video posted on social media shows the exact moment she realized she had won the Democratic nomination. It was reminiscent of the moment Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, another political rising star this election cycle, found out on live TV that she had won the primary against Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley earlier this summer.
In the clip posted on Twitter by her close friend Jesse Mermell, Pressley is informed she has emerged victorious and as she stands up she keeps asking, "We won?" Then she burst into tears, as she hugs her husband Conan Harris and her stepdaughter Cora excitedly claps. Pressley is then showed going around the room hugging her team.
The emotional moment took place soon after Capuano, who had not faced a serious challenger since he was elected in 1998, conceded the race with roughly 13% of the votes counted.
Pressley's victory comes just a week after Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum pulled a surprise win in the Democratic gubernatorial primary. She will represent the same Boston-area district that former President John F. Kennedy once represented.
"People who feel seen and heard for the first time in their lives, a stakehold in democracy and a promise for our future," Pressley told supporters at her election party. "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."