Andy Kim is trying to do something rare in New Jersey politics: win by casting himself as a soft-spoken outsider.

In a state known for its brass-knuckle campaign tactics, its machine-dominated politics and no shortage of characters tainted by dubious ethics or outright corruption, he’s betting voters will see his run for Senate as something entirely new.

“I get it, I’m not central casting of what someone imagines a New Jersey Democrat or politician looking like,” Kim said in an interview with POLITICO. “That’s what I thought would be my biggest weakness, but it’s actually turned out to be my biggest strength.”

And, so far, it seems to be working.