Ayanna Pressley pulls off shocking defeat of 10-term incumbent Mike Capuano in Democratic primary for Massachusetts congressional seat

Image: Democratic candidate for U.S. House of Representatives Ayanna Pressley takes the stage after winning the Democratic primary in Boston

Democratic candidate for the U.S. House, Ayanna Pressley, applauds supporters after after her shocking win in the Democratic primary in the Boston area Tuesday.Brian Snyder / Reuters

In a stunning upset in JFK’s old congressional district, Ayanna Pressley, the first woman of color elected to Boston’s City Council, on Tuesday defeated Rep. Mike Capuano, D-Mass., a 10-term incumbent in a high-profile Democratic primary.

Polls had shown Capuano, who has never faced a serious challenge since being elected in 1998, with big leads. But Pressley defied the odds to not just win, but outpace Capuano so decisively that he conceded the race less than an hour and a half after polls closed.

“Clearly the district wanted a lot of change,” Capuano told supporters. “The district just is very upset with lots of things that are going on. I don’t blame them. I’m just as upset as they are. But so be it, this is the way life goes.”

The heavily Democratic district has no danger of falling into Republicans’ hands.

Capuano had no whiff of scandal and has a nearly perfect progressive voting record. But he hails from an older, more parochial school of politics which Pressley said didn’t cut it anymore in the Donald Trump era.

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