Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., took an online victory lap Tuesday night after she handily won the Democratic primary in her Bronx and Queens congressional district, saying her win proves that the far-left movement she leads in New York and nationally is "a mandate."
Ocasio-Cortez surprised political observers when she upset the powerful New York Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley, who at the time was the chair of the House Democratic Caucus, in a 2018 primary. Her far-left campaign promises and embrace of democratic socialism excited the base in her district and launched her into national stardom once she was in Congress.
"When I won in 2018, many dismissed our victory as a 'fluke,'" Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Tuesday after it became clear she would win the primary. "Our win was treated as an aberration, or bc my opponent 'didn’t try.' So from the start, tonight’s race was important to me. Tonight we are proving that the people’s movement in NY isn’t an accident. It‘s a mandate."
With 100 percent of results in, the congresswoman running her first reelection campaign took 70 percent of the primary vote. Her moderate U.S. Chamber of Commerce-backed opponent, former CNBC contributor Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, managed only 19 percent. Ocasio-Cortez, a member of "the Squad" of four freshman Democratic House members who aim to push the party to the left, declared victory over the "Wall Street CEOs" she regularly rails against.
"Wall Street CEOs, from Goldman Sachs to Blackstone, poured in millions to defeat our grassroots campaign tonight. But their money couldn’t buy a movement," she said. "Here’s to speaking truth to power."
Republicans have dismissed Ocasio-Cortez's ideas, like the "Green New Deal," as unrealistic and dangerous for the country.
Self-declared democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., spoke highly of the 30-year-old lawmaker after her primary win.
"The people in her district have spoken loudly and clearly about her leadership, her struggles for workers's (sic) rights, racial justice, climate change and many other issues," he said. "Taking on a well-funded opponent, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez won a landslide victory. Congratulations Alexandria."
And Ocasio-Cortez wasn't the only far-left Democrat in New York City to have a great primary night. Middle school principal Jamaal Bowman, with the majority of the results in, holds a significant lead over longtime Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y. If his lead holds, the Ocasio-Cortez and Sanders-endorsed Bowman would pull off an upset on nearly the same level as Ocasio-Cortez's victory over Crowley.
Fox News' Andrew O'Reilly and Gregg Re contributed to this report.