Liberal darling Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez becomes youngest woman elected to Congress in landslide victory
Ocasio-Cortez became a new ray of hope for the Democratic party after she defeated longtime incumbent Joe Crowley while running a low-budget campaign
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the New York liberal Congressional candidate, became the youngest female elected to Congress after defeating her Republican challenger Anthony Pappas on Tuesday.
With a promise to try and push the Democratic Party further to the left, the 29-year-old Democratic socialist openly supported the abolition of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), upheld free college tuition, as well as 'Medicare for all'. Over the summer, Ocasio Cortez defeated longtime incumbent Joe Crowley in the Democrat primary, thereby winning the party's nomination.
She'll represent New York's 14th Congressional District, which covers the eastern Bronx and portions of northern Queens.
Last month, former president Barack Obama finally endorsed the liberal darling after having previously ignored her during his initial round of 81 endorsements over the summer. However, Ocasio-Cortez made a series of gaffes throughout her campaign. In one instance, she claimed on national television that unemployment was low "because everyone has two jobs". In yet another instance, Ocasio-Cortez did not have a clear strategy when asked how she would fund 'Medicare for all'.
She was asked the same question in an interview this week with Jorge Ramos, when she suggested that people would "just pay for it."
"People often say, like, how are you going to pay for it and I find the question so puzzling because 'How do you pay for something that’s more affordable? How do you pay for cheaper rent?' You just pay for it," she said. "We’re paying more now."
"In a modern, moral and wealthy society, no person should be too poor to live," Ocasio-Cortez told Ramos. "We should treat healthcare, housing, and education as rights." She added: "I believe we should guarantee a basic level of human dignity in America."
The 29-year-old firebrand thanked her supporters on Twitter as she learned of her victory. "I am so thankful for every single person who contributed, amplified, and worked to establish this movement," she tweeted. "Never forget the hard work it took to get us here. No matter what happens, this is what it takes."
Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York, who was elected in 2015 at the age of 30, is currently the youngest woman in Congress. Democrat Abby Finkenauer, 29, is now among the youngest women ever elected to the U.S. House after she beat Iowa GOP Rep. Rod Blum on Tuesday night, Fox News reported.