Capuano, Pressley Square Off In 7th Congressional District Primary

mike michael capuano ayanna pressley

Rep. Mike Capuano; Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley. (Facebook.com/Mike Capuano; Bernice Corpuz/WBZ NewsRadio 1030)

BOSTON (24/7 NewsSource/WBZ-AM) -- Longtime seventh district Congressman Michael Capuano is facing a tough challenge in today's primary election. Capuano's opponent is Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley, who has been endorsed by the city's major newspapers.  

Capuano has the endorsements of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, former Governor Deval Patrick and several key labor groups. He's represented the district for ten terms, and would like an eleventh. It's his first time facing a primary challenge since he was elected in 1998. He spoke to WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Shari Small outside the Whittier Community Center polling place in Everett Tuesday morning.

"I feel pretty good," Capuano said. "I mean, we've done everything we have to do, so far feels good. Good day, good weather ... we're not gonna rest until 8 o'clock tonight. We'll be out about all day long. We've got people all over the district doing stand-outs and phone calls and door knocks later on, that's what you do on campaigns."

But Pressley says it's her turn. 

"With each day, we're drinking from this fire hose of insult and assault that's eroding our civil rights, our freedoms, and our protections," says Pressley. "But those systemic inequalities and disparities existed before Donald Trump was elected."

She told reporters Tuesday that she felt encouraged.

"I really do feel in many ways the ground shifting beneath our feet and the wind at our backs," Pressley said. "There is the winds of change all about us nationally, but I know that we will not inherit change, we have to work for it, and so we'll be doing that until the very end."

"This is a fight for the soul of our party, the soul of our democracy, and this is about the future of this district," she added.

Capuano said that, if he wins, it will be an affirmation of his work. 

"I go out of my way to work with everyone," he said. "I won't speak for anyone else. I think, in this world, we really have to work hard to make sure that we listen to each other, that we talk to each other. If we have trouble doing that, or someone thinks they're not being heard, then we need to work harder at that."

Recent polls of the race have shown Capuano with a double digit lead. 

Lauren Dezenski of Politico Massachusetts said the Capuano-Pressley race first started getting attention after what happened in New York--where first-time candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez upset 10-term incumbent Joe Crowley.

"While that was a similar challenge by a woman of color toward a white male incumbent, that's kind of where the similarities stop," she said. "Michael Capuano has taken this challenge very seriously in a way that Joe Crowley never did, and Ayanna Pressley never really threw elbows toward her opponent in the way that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez did as well."

There are no Republicans running for the seat, making MA 7 one of 39 U.S. House districts where there is no GOP challenge. If Pressley wins, she'll be the first black woman from Massachusetts ever elected to congress.

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WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Karyn Regal (@Karynregal) reports

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