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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez projected to win second term in House

Historic Congressional election victories
Democrats, Republicans make history in 2020 Congressional elections 03:05

CBS News has projected Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has won reelection in New York's 14th congressional district. Ocasio-Cortez defeated Republican challenger John Cummings, a high school teacher from the Bronx.

In a tweet, Ocasio-Cortez said that serving the district and "fighting for working class families in Congress has been the greatest honor, privilege, & responsibility of my life." She thanked voters in the Bronx and Queens for their support — "despite the millions spent against us." 

She was first elected in 2018 and was thrust into the national spotlight as the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, taking office at the age of 29. She had been working as a waitress and bartender when she launched her first campaign, ultimately defeating 10-time incumbent Democrat Joe Crowley. 

Commonly known by her initials, AOC is a Democratic Socialist who believes in universal health care, tuition-free public college, and massive government investment to combat climate change through the Green New Deal.

Another of Ocasio-Cortez's signature issues is eliminating the influence of corporate money in politics. During the 2018 election, most of her campaign funds came from small donations of $200 or less. She accepted some money from labor unions, but refused to take any contributions from corporate political action committees. 

The now 31-year-old raised more than $17 million during the 2020 race, while Cummings raised nearly $10 million — making it the second most expensive House race this year, according to Open Secrets. 

During her first two years in Congress, Ocasio-Cortez often drew media attention. She and three other first-time Democratic congresswomen of color dubbed themselves "The Squad." 

Fellow Squad members Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts are also projected to win their bids for reelection.

To mark the occasion, Ocasio-Cortez retweeted Omar: "Our sisterhood is resilient," the tweet read.

In an interview with Vanity Fair, published last week, Ocasio-Cortez talked about the speculation surrounding her future. 

"I don't know if I'm really going to be staying in the House forever, or if I do stay in the House, what that would look like," she said in the interview with Michelle Ruiz. "I don't see myself really staying where I'm at for the rest of my life." 

She said she doesn't want to aspire to a "higher position" just for the sake of the title. "I truly make an assessment to see if I can be more effective," she said. "And so, you know, I don't know if I could necessarily be more effective in an administration, but, for me that's always what the question comes down to." 

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