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Five things you should know about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Democratic Socialist who ousted a 10-term House incumbent

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By Emilie Plesset
Gwen Ifill Fellow

In what is being described as the biggest upset of the year so far, newcomer Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez beat New York Rep. Joe Crowley in Tuesday’s Democratic primary.

The 10-term incumbent chairs the House Democratic Caucus and was considered a possible Speaker should the Democrats retake the House this fall. He had not faced a primary challenger in 14 years. Despite being outraised by Crowley 10-to-1, Ocasio-Cortez, who ran a progressive grassroots campaign, beat him by 15 points.

Here are five things you should know about the woman who might next represent New York’s 14th District:

• At 28-years-old, Ocasio-Cortez would be the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), who was elected at age 30 in 2015, currently holds the title.

• She spent the last weekend of her campaign protesting outside a child-detention center in Texas.

• Ocasio-Cortez identifies as a socialist and supports the abolition of ICE, free college tuition, and universal Medicare.

Less than a year before running for office, Ocasio-Cortez worked at a cocktail bar in New York City.

• She was a staffer for the late Sen. Ted Kennedy and worked as an organizer for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign. The Vermont Senator took to Twitter to congratulate Ocasio-Cortez on her win.