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‘I’VE HAD ENOUGH’: 17-year-old high school senior on why he’s running for Ohio’s House of Representatives

By Jane Nam

Sam Cao, a senior at Mason High School in Ohio, is running to be the nation’s youngest legislator in history at 17 years old.

If elected, Cao would serve as the District 56 representative in the Ohio House of Representatives, a position that has been held by Rep. Paul Zeltwanger (R, OH-54) since 2015.

Cao is eligible on the ballot as he will be 18 years old by the general election as the Ohio Constitution requires.

In an interview with NextShark, he shares details about his grassroots campaign and why he is running on a platform of “urgency” and “sustainability.”

‚ÄúPeople always focus on presidential elections [but] State House races are just as important,‚Äù he says. ‚ÄúI think there is no better time than to step in right now. Because if we just wait our turn, eight, 10 years down the line, we’re going to have our democracy succumb to fascism, and we’re not going to have a future.‚Äù

Cao assures that his age is a strength, citing anti-Asian hate, fascism and the prospect of not having a future as his motivations for running in this cycle.

‚ÄúWe need people from the future generations that will have to bear this problem for decades to come to step in now,‚Äù he says. ‚ÄúAnd realize that we have to make change, we cannot allow the same people of status quo to stay in power, wait for them to make the change, because they have failed us. And quite frankly, I’ve had enough of it. And so what better than to, you know, join in and just fight the problem yourself.‚Äù

Read the full article here:

We need more teenagers who want to drop their assumed roles as blind followers, and want to begin leading their communities in new directions.

Even though Mr. Cao will not be elected, his attempt to seize a place of influence within his community will benefit him, and his community, a great deal. 

With the support of organizations like Run For Something, young people can step into political spaces and affect real change because people take notice, and, in turn, often expose the bullshit they are perpetuating, when teenagers step into spaces where they supposedly do not belong. Teenagers take notice, and, in turn, cast a light on on the bullshit they’ve been fed, when they step into spaces where they supposedly do not belong.

So, come on SixFinger Kids, get off your asses and show Boomers their days are numbered.