28-year-old girl wins New York Democratic primary, beats congressman with 20 years experience

ALEXANDRIA Ocasio-Cortez, 28, has emerged the Democratic Party’s candidate to represent the state of New York in the 2019 US congressional elections.

Ocasio-Cortez – who, less than a year ago, was working as a bartender – defeated Congressman Joe Crowley, who have been in the US Congress for 20 years. In fact, this is the first congressional primary held by the Democratic Party in New York in the last 14 years; Crowley had always emerged unchallenged.

Crowley is currently ranked number four among the Democrats in the US Congress, and there had been speculations that he may emerge the next Speaker.

But all that changed on Tuesday as the results trickled in and Ocasio-Cortez was announced winner. If she defeats her Republican opponent in the election proper in 2019, Ocasio-Cortez will be the youngest person ever elected into the US Congress.

Credit: Twitter/Jeff Stein

Born in Bronx, New York, to Puerto Rican parents, Ocasio-Cortez studied at Boston University and worked in the the office Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts. She then volunteered for the campaign team of Bernie Sanders during his 2016 failed presidential campaign.

But as at November 2017, Ocasio-Cortez worked as a bartender at Flats Fix, a tacos and craft cocktail spot  in Manhattan. She had helped launch the place while pondering what to do next.

“I was taking brunch orders, with the AC off, and people from progressive political groups were calling me,” The Washington post quoted her as saying in an interview.

Ocasio-Cortez working as a bartender in 2017. Photo Credit: Twitter/Jeff Stein

“The only time we create any kind of substantive change is when we reach out to a disaffected electorate and inspire and motivate them to vote,” Ocasio-Cortez said in another interview. 

“That is how Obama won and got re-elected, and that’s how Bernie Sanders did so well.”

    Ocasio-Cortez’s victory calls to mind the Kenyan general election where Cynthia Muge, 24, and JohnPaul Mwirigi, 23, defeated incumbent members of parliament in their respective constituencies.

    Also, in Ghana’s general election of June 2015, 22-year-old law student, Francisca Oteng-Mensah, emerged winner of the Kwabre East Constituency in the country’s Ashanti Region.

    In Nigeria, prior President Muhammadu Buhari’s signing of the age reduction bill into law in May this year, one is not allowed to run for seats at the State Assembly or Federal House of Representatives until one is 30 years old.

    But the bill, popularly known as the not-too-young-to-run bill, has now reduced the constitutional age requirement for the office of a state or federal representative to 25 years, while that of the senate was reduced from 40 to 35 years.

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