After easily defeating her Republican opponent Anthony Pappas, the New York City native — who turned 29 last month — became the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.
Ousting New York Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik — who was elected to Congress at 30 — as the youngest, Ocasio-Cortez won her district with 78 percent of the vote.
Ocasio-Cortez was expected to become her district’s next House representative after defeating 10-term incumbent Joe Crowley in a monumental upset in June.
During her victory party on Tuesday, Ocasio-Cortez told supporters that “we didn’t launch this campaign because I thought I was special or unique or better than anyone else. We launched this campaign because in the absence of anyone giving a clear voice on the moral issues of our time, then it is up to us to voice them.”
The former waitress continued, “I think about oftentimes that incredible day on June 26, when — despite no attention, despite no media fanfare … we were able to organize everyday people knocking on our neighbor’s door and despite being outspent $4 million … despite the fact that I’m working class … despite all those things, we won.”
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The Latina progressive concluded, “Today is a milestone, but it’s really a beginning … We have to keep organizing. We cannot stop. Electoral politics is just a tool in a larger toolbox of this movement.”
Ocasio-Cortez previously worked on Sen. Bernie Sanders‘ 2016 presidential campaign and is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America.
“We’re really fighting for a working class agenda,” she told New York City radio station HOT 97 ahead of Tuesday’s election. “We’re fighting for universal healthcare. We’re fighting for tuition free colleges and universities. A 100 percent renewable energy, this is what — not just what our district needs — but what the city needs and what the country needs.”