Thanks to a Vermont State Law, a 14-Year-Old Is Running for Governor
Tuesday marks gubernatorial primary elections in Vermont, and eyes across the country are poised on one of the Democratic party’s candidates: 14-year-old Ethan Sonneborn, who, thanks to an idiosyncratic state law, has his name on the ballot.
“I think Vermonters should take me seriously because I have practical progressive ideas, and I happen to be 14, not the other way around,” Sonneborn said in a recent forum according to NBC. “I think that my message and my platform transcend age.”
Sonnenborn is running because Vermont laws state that there is no age restriction on those seeking to enter politics, only that a potential candidate has lived in the state for four years or more — a requirement the teen meets.
According to his campaign site, Sonnenborn is running on a progressive platform of youth engagement, health care, LGBT rights, the environment, education and the state’s economy.
“We must protect Vermont from long-term damaged caused by [current governor] Phil Scott by uniting behind the true progressive leader in this race, regardless of his age,” he says on his home page.
Sonnenborn was inspired to run after last year’s tragic protests in Charlottesville, in addition to the polarized political climate both at the state and national levels. Though it’s doubtful the middle schooler will make it onto the final ballot in November, he suggests that’s not necessarily his end goal. Sonnenborn knows that as a 14-year-old, his splash in traditional politics will mean something different.
“I think if I can get one person who wasn’t involved in the political process before involved now, then my campaign will have been a success,” he said.
(Photo via Ethan Sonnenborn For Governor Facebook)