Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Becomes Youngest Woman Ever Elected To Congress

The ex bartender just became the youngest woman in history to be elected to the House of Representatives.

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If there’s one name you remember today, make it Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Up until last year, the 29-year-old was helping her single mother make ends meet by working in restaurants and bartending in the Bronx.

Now, politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has just beaten her long shot Republican opponent Anthony Pappas, to become the youngest woman in history to be elected to the US House of Representatives.

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Just let that sink in for a second.

What happened in the midterm elections?

Earlier this morning, the 29-year-old won the 14th congressional district of New York, marking it a dramatic victory for the new wave of progressive Democrats.

  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
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'We made history tonight,' the New Yorker - who has never previously held political office - said during her electrifying victory speech.

'This is what is possible when everyday people come together in the collective realisation that all our actions, no matter how small or how large, are powerful, worthwhile and capable of lasting change,' she continued.

We made history tonight

'Words cannot express my gratitude to every organiser, every small-dollar donor, every working parent and dreamer who helped make this movement happen.

'And that’s exactly what this is. Not a campaign or an election day, but a movement, a larger movement for social, economic and racial justice in America.'

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Ocasio-Cortez's speech was briefly interrupted when news broke that Beto O’Rourke, a fellow progressive Democrat, lost his bid for Senate in Texas against Republican Sen. Ted Cruz.

However, the newly elected congresswoman encouraged her supporters not to lose sight of the Democrats' overall success in the midterms.

'There is never any fight that is too big for us to pick. We proved that this year,' she added. 'Because in the wealthiest nation in the history of the world, our greatest scarcity is not a lack of resources but the absence of political courage and moral imagination.'

 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Getty ImagesDrew Angerer

'It is a hollow goal to simply be a rich country that seeks to concentrate wealth. We must also be a good nation too.'

With just a minute to go until the polls closed, Ocasio-Cortez was pushing her campaign efforts, and tweeted:

'I am so thankful for every single person who contributed, amplified, and worked to establish this movement. Never forget the hard work it took to get us here. No matter what happens, this is what it takes.'
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Ocasio-Cortez first hit international headlines when she won the Democratic primary in June, unseating Rep. Joe Crowley (the fourth-ranking House Democrat), who had represented the Bronx and Queens district for a staggering 10 terms.

In the months since her primary win, the congresswoman had spoken out on the need to abolish the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), establish a federal jobs guarantee, and promote Medicare-for-all. She's also joined several Democrats who have withheld their support for Nancy Pelosi as a potential speaker of the House.


What happened in the Democratic primary elections?

When the result was called in June, a visibly shocked Ocasio-Cortez clasped her hands to her mouth.

‘Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God,’ she repeated in footage from the celebrations which has since garnered more than 86,000 'likes' on Twitter.

reports the insurgent Democrat victor added in her winning speech:

‘We meet a machine with a movement, and that is what we have done today … working-class Americans want a clear champion and there is nothing radical about moral clarity in 2018.’
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During her victory party in the Bronx, the candidate was congratulated by New York gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon.

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Mr Crowley had not faced a challenger from his own party in 14 years in a majority minority district that included parts of Queens and the Bronx. He had raised over £2.2m ($3m) for his campaign, 10 times the amount raised by his younger competitor.

Who is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?

In May, the political newcomer made a viral campaign video in which she said: ‘Women like me aren't supposed to run for office. I was born in a place where your zip code determined your destiny.’

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However, after her graduation she worked '18 hour shifts' as a waitress and bartender to supplement her mother's income as a house cleaner and bus driver following her father's death from cancer.

In a previous interview with , the politician said her experience of work and family has informed her politics. 'My mother cleaned homes and drove school buses, and when my family was on the brink of foreclosure … I started bartending and waitressing,' she explained. 'I understand the pain of working-class Americans because I have experienced the pain.'

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Days before the primary, Ocasio-Cortez left New York to join protests at an ICE detention centre in Texas after several families were forcibly separated under the Trump administration’s 'zero-tolerance' immigration policy.

What subjects are a priority for the young politician?

Before the Democratic primary, the young politician of Puerto Rican descent led a campaign which focussed on the importance of universal healthcare, tuition-free college and criminal justice reform.

She also raised more small-dollar donations (a whopping 70 per cent compared to Crowley's 0.78 per cent) than any other New York City congressional candidate.

Despite describing herself as a socialist Democrat, the political novice has received minimal support from her fellow democrats since announcing she was to challenge Congressman Crowley in May 2017.

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Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat who rims a public action committee (Off The Sidelines) which actively encourages women to run for public office, endorsed her opponent Mr Crowley.

Following Gillibrand’s endorsement, Ocasio-Cortez pointed out the senator ‘didn't even bother to talk to nor consider me before endorsing’.

After the result, Crowley said he would support Ocasio-Cortez in the mid-terms before dedicating the song 'Born to Run' by Bruce Springsteen to the millennial on his guitar.

Ocasio-Cortez was one of 130 women who have won primary elections for US House seats, 80 per cent of who are Democrats.

Congratulations, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez!

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