Midterms 2018: Ayanna Pressley runs unopposed for Massachusetts’s 7th District

The Boston City Council member is poised to become the state’s first black woman in Congress.

Boston City Council member Ayanna Pressley surprised America in September when she defeated 10-term incumbent Michael Capuano to win the primary for Massachusetts’s Seventh Congressional District. It marked a major win for Democratic candidates of color, especially black women.

And because there’s no Republican challenger, Pressley is poised to take the seat — which would make her Massachusetts’s first-ever black member of the House of Representatives.

But she’s long argued that her race and gender are not the only qualities that set her apart from her primary competitor; her life experiences play a big role. Pressley says her personal background is key for a leader in her district, which has a large nonwhite population and struggles with economic inequality — arguing that “the people closest to the pain should be closest to the power.” She’s also openly talked about being a survivor of sexual abuse and being raised by her mother while her father was incarcerated.