Who is Maxwell Frost, Florida’s Gen Z Democratic candidate?

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Maxwell Frost looks a lot like other Gen Zers — he’s 25, drives an Uber for extra cash, and recently quit his job to pursue a more promising opportunity.

His last gig? Winning a crowded primary in Florida’s heavily Democratic 10th congressional district on Tuesday night, giving him a strong chance of becoming a member of the United States House of Representatives.

Frost prevailed over more experienced Democrats, including former congressmen Corrine Brown and Alan Grayson, and state senator Randolph Bracy, to secure the nomination. He will be the favorite in November in the reconfigured Orlando district.

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“I knew we would be left out because of my age,” Frost told The Washington Post in an interview Tuesday. “And I was excluded a lot of my life because of my age. But I knew if we stuck to our message, if we kept doing the work and if we built the movement, we would win.

He is among the new class of groundbreaking Democratic candidates this year with working-class roots. On his campaign website, he highlights the difficulties faced by his birth mother who gave him up for adoption amid what he describes as “a cycle of drugs, crime and violence”.

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Frost campaigned to support Medicare-for-all, demilitarize the police, legalize prostitution and recreational marijuana, overturn all marijuana convictions, and restore voting rights to incarcerated people.

He was supported by Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), another liberal lawmaker and author of the Green New Deal, said he was “honoured” to support Frost.

“We have to listen to young people and let them lead. That’s when we’ll have a Green New Deal,” Markey tweeted after Frost’s main victory was announced.

Polls leading up to the primary showed Frost leading in the 10-candidate race, but he said his campaign team was working as hard on Election Day as they had all summer, taking to the streets at 4 a.m. morning to deliver campaign materials to voters. ‘ Houses.

Maxwell Frost (D-Fla.), who is the first Gen Z candidate to win a congressional primary, discusses his plan to engage young people in the upcoming election. (Video: The Washington Post, Photo: Maxwell Alejandro Frost for Congress/The Washington Post)

The minimum age to hold a seat in Congress is 25 years. Frost has never run for public office, but he does not consider himself a political newcomer. He began working in politics at age 15, protesting gun violence after the deadly mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in 2012.

He then became the national organizing director of March for Our Lives, the group organized by students who survived the deadly mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in 2018. He also worked for the ACLU in Florida, supporting the right to vote of formerly incarcerated citizens.

Frost refers to him as the “mass shooting generation”. March for Our Lives co-founder David Hogg on Tuesday abstract the forces he believed would propel Frost into Congress: “Never underestimate the power of angry young people.”

Frost came to national attention four months ago when he confronted Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (right) at an event in Orlando, shortly after the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. In a video that has circulated widely on social media, Frost is seen telling DeSantis that he needs to do something about gun violence. DeSantis replied, “Nobody wants to hear from you”, and Frost is seen being escorted away.

Freeze later Featured the exchange featured prominently in some of his campaign ads, saying he wouldn’t let these politicians silence “our voices”. Frost said he thinks voters angry with DeSantis will help propel him into Congress.

“Our positive message about the world we deserve to live in is what really resonates with people, despite what comes out of the Governor’s mansion in Tallahassee,” Frost said.

He argued that DeSantis’ policies motivated voters.

“Our message resonated right now despite what the governor is scapegoating gay people, despite black people and their voting rights being taken away from them by the governor, despite our LGBTQ plus community and Latinos and black people . and people with disabilities being scapegoated by this governor for every issue under the sun,” he said.

Frost was the top fundraiser in the race for the open seat currently held by Rep. Val Demings (D), who won the Senate nomination on Tuesday night and will challenge Sen. Marco Rubio (R).

Amy B Wang contributed to this report.

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