Despite 81 percent of young voters voting blue at high points in elections, we make up next to none of the candidates. I believe that their is a stigma attached to running making it appear way more difficult than it needs to be. I hope that by running and spreading my messages as far as they will go, some gen z folks will look into running for state and local office.
When I have worked on campaigns over the last 5 years I have met countless fellows, interns, and staff who are my age. They have been the most hardworking and passionate team members on the campaign trail, and they make fantastic quick-whittled connections with voters and community members over the phone and at the doors. Whenever I have talked to these people from virtually all over the country I always hear the same thing; “Yea,, I will probably run when I am older.”
I certainly held the same sentiment forever, but after seeing that my newly drawn district probably wasn’t going to have a democratic challenger I asked why not now? I have met plenty of candidates who don’t have experience in campaign finance or field work, and I certain know a bit more about how to use social media platforms, so what are older candidates really doing that I’m not?
I needed to run because I know the turf better than anyone from any of the campaigns I have seen. During my time with the Hala Ayala campaign I was the only one knocking on doors in southern Virginia Beach polling areas and could see the higher numbers in areas I went versus didn’t make it out to. In Elaine Luria’s VA-02 re-election campaign I spoke to so many impassioned young voices in the district and I am so excited to find them for my own campaign.
Currently my entire team is under 25, and that is something nobody can say in their campaigns. I have seen great things and know they will continue. I just welcomed on a new intern who is working on my campaign for credit from my old high school! It will be a great throwback to connect with the faculty and talk to them about the campaign!
Young voters helped Biden get elected, they helped Elaine Luria get elected (and will help her win re-election), and they will help me get elected.
If you are new to my campaign diaries, my name is Zach Coltrain and I am a 20-year-old running for the Virginia House of Representatives as a university music student. Help me flip the 98th district from an out-of-touch millionaire by supporting and/or keeping track of my campaign.