Maxwell Frost, a 25-year-old progressive activist, has won his bid to represent Florida’s 10th District, making him the first-ever Gen Z member of Congress.
The Democrat beat Republican Calvin Wimbish, a 51-year-old Army veteran, by more than 30,000 votes in the reliably blue district.
"WE WON!!!!" Frost tweeted after his victory was announced. "History was made tonight. We made history for Floridians, for Gen Z, and for everyone who believes we deserve a better future. I am beyond thankful for the opportunity to represent my home in the United States Congress."
The 2022 midterm elections were the first time that members of Gen Z, who were born between 1997 and 2012, could run for Congress. The minimum age to serve in the House of Representatives is 25 years old, so the oldest members of the cohort just made the cutoff.
Frost, who is also the first Afro Cubano elected to Congress, ran on a progressive platform of ending gun violence, expanding Medicare, making housing more affordable, and fighting climate change.
Though the young activist has never before held office and is yet to finish college, Frost has served as the national organizing director at March for Our Lives and has worked on three presidential campaigns and several state-level political campaigns. He has also worked with the American Civil Liberties Union.
Frost, whose campaign raised over $1.2 million, told HuffPost in October that his organizing with March for Our Lives taught him that “young people want something to vote for, not against,” he said, adding that many campaigns often don’t bother reaching out to voters of his generation.
Florida’s 10th District comprises areas of Orlando and came up for grabs after Democratic Rep. Val Demings decided to run for US Senate against Republican Marco Rubio. During the Democratic primary, Frost beat out nine other candidates with more than 34% of the vote, garnering support from progressive figures such as Sen. Bernie Sanders, whom he used to work for, as well as Rep. Pramila Jayapal and Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
After winning the Democratic nomination, Frost said in a tweet that he won because “of our message: Love,” adding, “No matter who you are, you deserve healthcare, a livable wage, and to live free from gun violence. We made history tonight.”
“Don’t count out young people,” he tweeted.
Frost first got involved in political organizing as a high school student following the Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012. He has been vocal about surviving a separate incident of gun violence in 2016 at a Halloween event in downtown Orlando. When two men began shooting at each other, “we all started running,” he told Insider.
He started running for Congress because “we won’t change the system until we change our leadership. It’s time for poor, working-class, and young people to have a seat at the table,” he wrote in a survey for Ballotpedia.
“My campaign is about organizing a coalition of people behind a platform that represents their values and interests,” Frost added.