Last night in Boston, waves were made. A Congressman, District Attorney, and state legislators who were incumbents all lost. The big story, of course, was Congressman Mike Capuano losing to City Councilor Ayanna Pressley. Capuano had served ten terms, and hadn’t faced a tough challenge since his 1998 victory. Suddenly, he’s out.
I don’t personally endorse these kind of primaries. Capuano had a good voting record on almost every issue, and was a staunch anti-war Congressman. I see no actual point in kicking guys like him out. These primaries are usually a progressive fetish for bored activists in blue districts, who want more angry legislators, like themselves. In the end, Ayanna Pressley will have a nearly identical voting record to Mike Capuano. What’s the point?
With that all said, don’t cry about Ayanna Pressley. She’s going to do just fine at this. She’s a big city Councilwoman that used to work for John Kerry’s political team. She’s a pro, not a bomb thrower. She will go to Congress and work hard, and get things done. This is not Alexandria Ocasio Cortez out there campaigning to destroy the party, Pressley is a part of the Democratic Party. She believes we should have more diversity in Congress, and so did her district.
This race was not much of an upset. Pressley is an elected official, and in fact had won a competitive race more recently than Capuano. The demographics of this seat have changed a lot since JFK held it too. With less gerrymandering and segregation in Boston today, this seat was increasingly less white. We have seen this repeatedly in recent years, where a white, older man had represented an urban district for quite some time without a real challenge, and then they lose when someone credible steps forward. There’s not much to imagine about why this race happened.
There are certainly parallels to what happened to Joe Crowley, but only on the incumbent side. In a few years, Pressley’s constituents will be proud of her. She’s not AOC, and for that, I’m thankful.