Sept. 4 (UPI) -- Boston city councilor Ayanna Pressley pulled off a surprise upset by defeating 10-term congressman Rep. Mike Capuano in a Democratic primary in Massachusetts on Tuesday.
Pressley, who will likely win November's congressional race in heavily Democratic Boston, won nearly 60 percent of the vote and would become the first black woman from Massachusetts elected to the House.
"This is a fight for the soul of our party. This is a fight for the future of our democracy," Pressley said at a recent canvassing event in Cambridge, CNN reported. "We might vote the same way, but we will lead differently. These times require and this district deserves bold, activist leadership."
As Pressley said, she didn't campaign on being more progressive than Capuano, who voted against the 2003 Iraq War vote and has advocated for single-payer healthcare. Rather, Pressley touted her personal credentials, such as being a black woman who grew up in an impoverished household with a single mother and oft-incarcerated father but eventually worked as a staffer for former Sen. John Kerry and Rep. Joseph Kennedy II before earning a spot on the Boston City Council.
"Ayanna Pressley is going to be a good congresswoman and Massachusetts will be well served," Capuano said in his concession speech.
Pressley's victory was welcomed by the Democratic Party's progressive members
"Congrats to my friend @AyannaPressley & her team on a hard-fought primary win tonight! Ayanna & I have worked together for years, & she's a fierce advocate & powerful force for change," Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren tweeted. "I'm looking forward to fighting alongside her in Congress."
And New York City congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who pulled of a surprise primary upset of her own when she defeated Rep. Joseph Crowley, who has represented Bronx and Queens since 1999, expressed her support for Pressley via Twitter.
"@AyannaPressley + I bonded over running while constantly told it's 'not our turn,' that we 'weren't ready,' 'good enough,' or 'experienced' enough. We kept going anyway. In June, I won my primary. Tonight, she won hers. Here's to November," Ocasio-Cortez wrote.