As cheers erupted around her Tuesday night, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s eyes widened and she seemed for a moment too stunned to speak.
But the 28-year-old political activist and Boston University alumna, who had just found out on live television that she unseated a powerful Democratic incumbent in the primary race for New York’s 14th congressional district, quickly turned back to New York 1’s Ruschell Boone, telling the reporter of her apparent victory, “I cannot put this into words.”
“I cannot believe these numbers right now, but I do know that every single person here has worked their butt off to change the future of the Bronx and Queens,” she said.
Cortez defeated Representative Joseph Crowley, who has served in Congress since 1998 and who was once seen as a possible successor to Nancy Pelosi as the Democratic leader in the House.
She was outspent by Crowley by a ratio of about 18-1, according to the Associated Press, but picked up a number of endorsements from progressive groups and ran a major social media campaign that included a biographical video that went viral.
Watch her reaction to winning:
Challenger @Ocasio2018 toppled one of the top Democrats in Congress, @repjoecrowley, Tuesday night in their primary in the 14th District. The victory stunned even her, live on our channel. #NY1Politics https://t.co/fnK1O0bacz pic.twitter.com/RjuqHJpn1p— Spectrum News NY1 (@NY1) June 27, 2018