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US election: Maxwell Frost to be first Gen Z member of Congress

Maxwell Frost meets with community leaders and organisers from Central Florida at Wekiva Island in Longwood, Florida. 30 August 2022Getty Images

“We made history for Floridians, for Gen Z, and for everyone who believes we deserve a better future.”

This is what a win sounds like for Maxwell Frost, who – at 25 – is the US Congress’ first representative of Generation Z.

Within minutes of the projected win, his celebration on Twitter was gathering rampant endorsement.

For starters, his presence in the House of Representatives stands to lower Congress’ median age – the highest in two decades – by quite a lot. Baby boomers dominate and millennials represent barely 6% of the body.

“I am more than thankful for the opportunity to represent my home in the United States Congress,” Mr Frost wrote.

His win was not unexpected – after all he ran in Florida’s reliably liberal 10th district.

And his campaign focused on the issues Democrats believe appeal to young voters – gun violence, climate change, abortion rights and expanded healthcare.

Four days before the midterm elections, Maxwell Alejandro Frost explained that he became an organiser (remember that word – that’s how a certain Barack Obama began his political career) because he “did not want to be shot at school”.

He became an activist after the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012.

In the run-up to his congressional campaign, Mr Frost served as the national organising director for March for Our Lives – a group that seeks gun control.

After the shooting that left 21 people dead at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on 24 May, Mr Frost challenged Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis over his views on weapons.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

He told the New York Times in August that the reason why the issue of gun violence was so important to him was because he came from a generation “that has gone through more mass-shooting drills than fire drills”.

“That gives me a sense of urgency.”

The oldest members of Gen Z were born in 1997 – and only now have they been eligible to run (you have to be 25 to stand for the House).

And whilst it remains unusual to get elected at that age, Mr Frost is not the first.

In 2020, Republican Madison Cawthorn (who was born in 1995) had that honour when he won in North Carolina – but that was after a hiatus of some 45 years. Mr Cawthorn, however, did not last long – he was voted out in the primaries earlier this year, following a string of scandals.

In addition to being the first member of Gen Z elected to Congress, Mr Frost will also reportedly be the first Afro-Cuban to serve.

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