Maxwell Frost, a 25-year-old community organizer, will win the Democratic nomination in Florida’s 10th congressional districtCNN projects, and could become the first member of Generation Z elected to Congress.
He beat out a crowded field of candidates seeking to replace the Democratic representative. Val Demings in an Orlando-based district, including state senator Randolph Bracy, former U.S. Representative Corrine Brown — who recently settled a federal corruption case after winning a new trial and serving more than two years in prison — and former US Representative Alan Grayson.
Demings leaves the seat for a Senate race, and she won the Democratic nomination Tuesday to face GOP Senator Marco Rubio in November. Frost’s victory on Tuesday makes him the favorite in November for the deep blue seat that Joe Biden would have carried by 32 points in 2020.
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Before the primary, Frost – a gun violence prevention activist who this summer has disturbed Conservative talk show host Dave Rubin’s public interview with the Republican governor. Ron DeSantis with calls to end gun violence – generated considerable buzz.
Frost has been endorsed by notable progressives such as Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, as well as the Congressional Progressive Caucus PAC, and he had raised $1.5 million through August 3, more than any other candidate in the field, according to Federal Election Commission filings.
For the first time, in 2022, members of Generation Z – those born after 1996 – are eligible to be elected to the United States House of Representatives. (Under the Constitution, The members of the house must be be at least 25 years old, have been a U.S. citizen for at least seven years, and live in the state they represent, but not necessarily in the district.)
Frost is not the only Gen Z candidate running for Congress this cycle.
In New Hampshire, former Trump aide Karoline Leavitt and state Rep. Tim Baxter, who are seeking GOP nomination in the state’s 1st District, are both Gen Zers. Earlier this summer, two Gen Z candidates lost their primaries: Democrat Ray Reed in Missouri’s 2nd District and Republican Matt Foldi in Maryland’s 6th.
For his part, Leavitt – who will also turn 25 before the midterms – told CNN last year that she was running for Congress to bring young voters into the Republican Party.
“We have people in Washington, DC who have clung to power twice as long as I’ve been alive,” she said. “My youth is a strength and it can already be seen in the election campaign.”
Leavitt worked as deputy press secretary at the Trump White House under press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, and after the 2020 election she served as communications director for New York Rep. Elise Stefanik. She faces a packed GOP field Sept. 13 in her attempt to challenge Democratic Rep. Chris Pappas.
Frost on the campaign trail looked at his youth and said if elected to Congress, he would bring the fervor of Gen Z with him.
“Our generation has been through some of the modern challenges that our country is going through, but we don’t have representation in Congress, and we deserve to be at the table,” he told CNN on Tuesday ahead of the election, adding that the opportunity to be the first Gen Z member of Congress would be “the honor of a lifetime”.
“It’s something that I don’t take lightly,” Frost said of the historic nature of his candidacy. “I’m not saying here that I represent the values and thoughts of every member of Gen Z. We’re like any other generation…many different ideologies and everything like that. But I think I holistically represent our lived experience as young people.
In addition to fighting for gun safety, Frost has championed abortion rights and voting rights with the ACLU of Florida.
Since launching his campaign, he has focused his energy on what he calls the need for “bold change.” His platform includes proposals such as “Medicare for All” and a plan to “end gun violence,” as well as the “climate crisis,” which includes support for the progressive Green New Deal resolution.
Frost described Tuesday growing up as part of the “mass shooting generation” and said, “We’re a generation that goes through more school shooting drills than fire drills.”
“We’ve seen these things and wondered our whole lives as young people, in high school, middle school, and elementary school, why? Why does this happen? Why haven’t we fixed this? And now we’re in a place where we can vote and we can show up, and we’re going to do that,” he said.
Frost, who spent the summer of 2020 protesting for racial justice following the death of George Floyd, told CNN last year that he was “running for what our generation really wants and asks for.”
“We often talk about what we need to survive. I want to have a conversation about what we need to thrive,” he said at the time.
This story has been updated.