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Primary victories for candidates who rebuked the Trump administration’s xenophobic policies—and put the Democratic Party establishment on notice

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JAISAL NOOR: Progressive challengers won in big races across the country in Maryland Tuesday night. The biggest upset took place in New York’s 14th, where Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defeated powerful ten-term Congressman Joe Crowley, who raised far more money. Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old member of the Democratic Socialists of America, was endorsed by Bernie Sanders and ran on a platform of abolishing ICE, Medicare for All, and ridding politics of corporate domination. She’s expected to coast into office in the general election.

In Maryland the political establishment suffered stinging defeats, with the Bernie Sanders-endorsed Ben Jealous winning a six-week governor’s race in Democratic primary. He defeated party pick Prince George’s Executive Rushern Baker, who was endorsed by the entire Democratic Party establishment. Jealous promises Medicare for All, taxing the rich, legalizing pot to pay for universal pre-K, and a program that would offer public sector jobs to people the private sector won’t hire. He’ll face a formidable opponent in incumbent Larry Hogan in November. Hogan has thus far outfundraised all of his Democratic opponents combined, and enjoys high favorability ratings, even among Democrats.

Mary Washington and Antonio Hayes defeated incumbent senators in Maryland’s 43rd and 40th districts, and Obama administration alum Nate Loewenthal lost his bid to win a seat in the House of Delegates in the 41 District, despite raising over $400000. Meanwhile, uber-establishment incumbent U.S. Senator Ben Cardin cruised to victory over former NSA whistleblower, prisoner, and trans activist challenger Chelsea Manning, who also ran on abolishing ICE, but did not run much of a campaign.

Go to for our entire election night coverage, with a range of guests, hosted by Khalilah Harris. For The Real News, this is Jaisal Noor in Baltimore.

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Jaisal is currently the Democracy Initiative Manager at the Solutions Journalism Network and is a former TRNN host, producer, and reporter. He mainly grew up in the Baltimore area and studied modern history at the University of Maryland, College Park. Before joining TRNN, he contributed print, radio, and TV reports to Free Speech Radio News, Democracy Now! and The Indypendent. Jaisal's mother has taught in the Baltimore City Public School system for the past 25 years. Follow him on Twitter @jaisalnoor.