One year ago, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was working in a bar to help support her family.
Image shows Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez answers questions at a town hall event, September 19, 2018 in The Bronx borough of New York City (Source: NBC News/Drew Angerer/Getty)
On Tuesday, the same Ocasio-Cortez, at 29 years old, became the youngest woman in history to be elected to Congress. With 74.3 percent of votes tallied, NBC News has called the congressional race for New York’s 14th District in Ocasio-Cortez’s favor.
Even though she was highly favored to win, Ocasio-Cortez continued her campaign efforts until the final moments.
Just one minute before the polls were closed she tweeted, “I am so thankful for every single person who contributed, amplified, and worked to establish this movement. Never forget the hard work it took to get us here. No matter what happens, this is what it takes.”
Ocasio-Cortez shocked the establishment when she won the Democratic primary in June, unseating Rep. Joe Crowley. Crowley, the fourth-ranking House Democrat, represented the Bronx and Queens district for 10 terms and was predicted by many to replace Nancy Pelosi as minority leader. He had not faced a primary challenger since 2004.
She has spent her time since the primary holding town halls in her district and campaigning for fellow like Cynthia Nixon and Zephyr Teachout.
In the midterm election, Ocasio-Cortez defeated Republican Anthony Pappas, who WNYC characterized as “very unusual.”
Pappas’ most noted talking point was his belief that citizens should be able to sue judges. He told WNYC, “We are living under a judicial dictatorship.”
To promote his argument, Pappas often cited his own contentious divorce — in which his wife accused him of punching her in the face, a charge he has denied for 14 years.