Ayanna Pressley Becomes the First Black Woman to Represent Massachusetts in Congress

Ayanna Pressley, Boston City Councilwomen and House Democratic candidate, gives a victory speech at her primary night gathering after her opponent Mike Capuano conceded on September 4, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts.
Photo: Scott Eisen (Getty Images)

Can you hear that noise?

It’s the swell of the blue wave riding into Washington. In one of the first races called in a night full of anticipation, Democrat Ayanna Pressley crushed everyone, winning her race to become the first black woman from Massachusetts elected to Congress.


Root Staff Writer Michael Harriot: Umm ... Steve. I know you’re excited but she ran uncontested.

Me: Huh?

MH: She didn’t run against anyone. She crushed a Congressmen in the primary some two months ago.

Me: Well she crushed “Uncontested,” whoever that is.

The race wasn’t even close. It was a blowout. Pressley’s poise, rejection of PAC money to fund her campaign, and her progressive stance to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) scared away all potential competition.


According to the Hill, Pressley, a Chicago native, endeared herself to the people by talking openly “about overcoming hardships,” and “suffering sexual assault to being raised by a single mother who was a community activist and passed away from leukemia.”

Pressley, an honoree of this year’s The Root 100, shook up the world in September when the 44-year-old and first woman of color ever elected to the Boston City Council, trounced Rep. Mike Capuano (D-Mass.) in the state’s primary race in September.


Pushing an aggressive position that included “Medicare for all,” the Hill notes that Pressley became a darling of Massachusetts’s 7th District, a liberal enclave, “which has grown increasingly diverse over the years and was once represented by former President John F. Kennedy.”

Pressley’s political roots run deep in Boston and she even served as “a surrogate for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.”

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About the author

Stephen A. Crockett Jr.

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.