Thursday, 16 August 2018

This Boy Is Just 14 Years Old But He's Already Campaigning To Be Governor

Most 14-year-old American schoolchildren might be obsessed with baseball, chasing girls and dodging their homework. Not Ethan Sonneborn. He runs for the governor in Vermont, United States.

The teenager enjoys a quirk in the constitution of the bucolic northeastern state that imposes no age limit to run for governorship. Applicants must only have lived in Vermont for at least four years.

Ethan, fortunately for his campaign, lived in the state for 14 years. He will face a group of adult rivals in the Democratic governor's primary on Tuesday.

His website proclaims him a champion of middle and working families, with "good ideas" on health care reform, economic development and education - no matter he still has a bachelor's degree.

He identifies with the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, which has gained more and more influence in the United States since the candidacy of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders was finally thwarted in 2016.

"I think I'm the candidate who best represents the change we need," he said at a televised event earlier this month.

Her rivals include Christine Hallquist, who is the first transgender governor in the United States, James Ehlers, a marine veteran and environmentalist, and Brenda Siegel, executive director of a dance festival.

Despite Sonneborn's praise for his "maturity" and political awareness, his campaign has sparked calls for Vermont lawmakers to fill this gap.

"I think we should probably look at this to be perfectly honest," Republican Governor Phil Scott told reporters when asked if he thought 14-year-olds should be eligible.

"I think you should at least be able to get your driver's license by the time you become a governor."

Scott, 60, has headed Vermont since 2016 and is standing for re-election against Keith Stern, who runs a fruit and vegetable business, in the Republican state governor's primary, also on Tuesday.

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