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Behind Ocasio-Cortez’s upset victory, an unconventional crew

July 7, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) — A campaign manager who moonlights as an energy healer. A photographer who sings in a heavy metal band. A Muslim progressive activist who runs a cooking blog in her spare time.

These are some of the political outsiders who helped propel 28-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to a massive Democratic primary upset and into the national spotlight.

If it seems Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign crew is unusual, that’s the point. She says she intentionally built her team from the ranks of burgeoning progressive and social causes, not the traditional Democratic Party machine.

In the wake of Ocasio-Cortez’s stunning primary victory over 10-term incumbent Joe Crowley in the New York City boroughs of the Bronx and Queens, her campaign drew high marks for its consistent message of social justice, door-to-door outreach and aggressive social media.

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