For the first time in 16 years, Millennials aren’t the youngest individuals able to run for Congress in the 2022 midterms. Generation Z members Maxwell Frost and Ray Reed—both who are 25 years old—could be the youngest to serve in the U.S. House.
Frost is running for Congress in Florida’s 10th Congressional District, which contains parts of Orlando, as a Democratic candidate. He told NPR:
“Turning on the TV and seeing a bunch of people sleeping outside of Wall Street talking about something called ‘wealth inequality’ – seeing that in elementary school. Growing up learning that 30 minutes away from me, a kid that looked like me who was wearing a hoodie was murdered for being Black, Trayvon Martin, and seeing the outrage after that. Our generation has been born into a lot of trauma and a lot of civil unrest around people being frustrated with things. And I think because of that, our generation naturally thinks about things in a bit of a different way.”
Ray Reed, a former Democratic campaign staffer and organizer, is running for a seat in Missouri’s 2nd Congressional District. In the same NPR article, he shrugs off the critics saying that he needs more political experience:
“The cynics kind of say, oh, he’s too young, he’s too untried, maybe if he were to spend, a few terms in Jeff[erson] City, maybe then he’ll be ready to run for Congress. Which is really just political talk for let’s get him in our system. Let’s teach him how to play the game our way. And then if we say he’s ready, he can run for a higher office. I think the real risk is to nominate the same type of Democratic candidates election after election after election and somehow expect a different result.”
With our current government’s reluctance to protect human rights, these candidates for Congress could be a step in the right direction.