An incumbent Congressman from Massachusetts won’t be returning to Washington after an upset at the Democratic primary this week.
Boston City Council member Ayanna Pressley took almost 59 percent of the vote in the state’s 7th District and forcing U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano to lose out on an 11th term on Capitol Hill.
Since no Republican candidate qualified for the ballot, Pressley will run unopposed in the November general election for the Commonwealth’s most diverse district, positioning her to become first the black woman to serve Massachusetts in Congress.
Pressley, who previously worked as a senior aide for well-known Dems, Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy II, and Sen. John Kerry, delivered what is characterized as an upset to Capuano who has reliably won his seat since 1998. Fueled by an endorsement from Democratic-Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and running on a platform that includes Medicare-for-all, expansion of LGBTQ+ rights and immigration reform, Pressley also embraces gun control.
As a board member of Operation LIPSTICK — Ladies Involved in Putting a Stop to Inner-City Killing — Pressley railed against the exploitation of women as gun mules in “straw purchase” situations and youth gun violence in a 2014 opinion piece for the Boston Globe.
“Rampant gun violence impedes economic development, contributes to soaring health care costs and incarceration rates, creates whole communities of people suffering from traumatic stress disorders, and perpetuates cycles of violence, loss, grief, and despair,” said Pressley.
Previously, she won the Gabrielle Giffords Rising Star Award from Emily’s List in 2015 and picked up the endorsement of national gun control organizations in her race. Everytown gave a $500 donation to Pressley’s current campaign for the House, snubbing Capuano who had a long record of supporting increased gun restrictions while in Washington.
A political ally of Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, who has history of taking on the gun industry and Second Amendment groups, Pressley said she will seek to fund CDC research on gun crime as a health care issue, ban “assault weapons” and bump stocks, up the minimum age for gun purchases to 21 and expand background checks.
“Massachusetts has some of the strongest gun laws in the nation, but guns continue to flood our communities, many acquired in surrounding states with looser laws – that’s why comprehensive gun control at the national level is so important,” Pressley said.