Democratic Socialists of America see membership spike after Ocasio-Cortez win

Friday, 29 Jun, 2018

The victor is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a millennial who worked as an organiser for Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign.

She beat Joseph Crowley, a career politician who had been expected to one day take over for Nancy Pelosi as leading Dem in the House.

News reports cited Ocasio-Cortez's socialist affiliation and far-left platform, promoting universal health care and abolition of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

The raucous victory party for congressional giant-killer Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez featured a who's who of progressive NY politics, including actor-turned-gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon.

It was the first defeat of the primary season for a Democrat incumbent and strongly suggested lingering splits between the Democratic Party's pragmatic and more liberal wings might be widening in the early years of the Trump presidency. It will make her the youngest woman to have ever been elected to Congress.

But Ocasio-Cortez, who has been a community organizer, garnered some important endorsements and appeared to energize new voters in the district.

On Tuesday night, Sanders, also a democratic socialist, congratulated Ocasio-Cortez.

"His administration is a form of extremism and... we shouldn't be afraid to be very bold and very strong in our values and be very clear-cut in what those values look like in policy and legislation", Ocasio-Cortez said.

"I wasn't born to a wealthy or powerful family", she says in a campaign video that went viral during the campaign.

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Lawrence Dreyfuss, program associate for DSA, told The Hill that the political organization surpassed 40,000 members on Thursday, two days after Ocasio-Cortez, a DSA member and first-time candidate, emerged victorious.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez represents something new in national politics in the United States-a Latina millennial entering power with a bold, progressive agenda.

During her campaign, she criticised Mr Crowley for his ties to Wall Street and accused him of being out of touch with his increasingly diverse constituents.

Greer noted the big differences between Ocasio-Cortez's race and the gubernatorial primary, and said Cuomo's move to the left shows he recognizes the risk of a progressive insurgency, even if he won't admit it. Crowley, whose district includes parts of the Bronx and Queens, has been in Congress since 1999 and had not seen opposition in a primary in 14 years.

But Crowley suffered a shock upset in the Democratic primary held for his seat in NY.

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"I do remember with complete clarity. that she was an outstanding student", Lukes said.

Bunkeddeko, meanwhile, has honed in on the fact that Clarke has not sponsored any legislation that has passed the House in the dozen years since she took office, telling Politico, "Honestly, with Rep. Clarke's zero track record of passing bills, it's hard to tell what she believes". The Nixon-Cuomo contest involves numerous same undercurrents, she said. "I counted out that possibility because I felt that possibility had counted out me".