Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old political novice running on a low budget and an unabashedly liberal platform, upset longtime U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley on Tuesday in the Democratic congressional primary in NY.
In Queens, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is challenging Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY), who has served in the House since 1999 and who is widely considered as a possible next Speaker should Democrats take back the House.
When Burnett listed the ages of the septuagenarians now leading the Democratic party, Ocasio-Cortez said that it's time to elect "a new generation of people to Congress".
Less than a year ago, Ocasio-Cortez was working as a bartender to help support her working-class family.
Her campaign reported a modest uptick in donations - some $15,000 - in the hours following Tuesday's primary.
The political novice, who describes herself as a socialist Democrat, had huge grassroots support and raised more small-dollar donations than any other New York City congressional candidate.
Ocasio-Cortez has consistently hit Crowley for not accurately representing the district. "This race is indicative of the division that we saw in 2016 that's now become a real chasm".
"I think he does understand the winds are changing, and he is moving with the wind", she said.
At his concession speech, Mr Crowley played guitar, dedicating the song Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen to Ms Ocasio-Cortez.
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While pledging not to take any corporate money and getting outraised by Crowley by more than 10 to 1, Ocasio-Cortez still raised more than $300,000. The district, which encompasses parts of Queens and the Bronx and is about half Hispanic, leans deeply Democratic and her primary win all but assures she'll soon be the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.
Ocasio-Cortez said Democrats should not be afraid to go "toe-to-toe" with the Trump administration.
District 7 is also evenly split between Republicans and Democrats and will be extremely competitive in a general election, while Ocasio-Cortez's district had a huge Democratic advantage in registration and the primary essentially determined the general election.
Her victory could signal a major shift in the Democratic Party's base, one showing that left-leaning voters are now willing to endorse more radical policy positions in an era of political polarization.
Despite Crowley's loss, the governor, who is up for reelection later this year, reportedly said the only "common denominator" was "an activated Democratic Party".
Trump got more good news elsewhere in New York City as Grimm failed in his political comeback attempt at the hands of the Trump-backed incumbent Donovan.
"There's no denying when you watch her [campaign] video that she's a deeply inspiring person", she said, "and I feel like people really gravitated toward her leadership and hope".
"I think every Democratic candidate out there could be asked now".