Maxwell Frost, a 25-year-old activist turned political candidate, is set to become the first Gen Z member of Congress after a projected win in his race in Florida’s 10th Congressional District.
Frost, a Democrat, ran on ending gun violence, protecting U.S. democracy through election reform and addressing the climate crisis. He defeated Republican Calvin Wimbish and independent candidates Jason Holic and Usha Jain.
The seat was previously held by Rep. Val Demings, the Democrat challenging Sen. Marco Rubio. It was considered a safe seat for the party.
Frost, who is Afro-Cuban, secured the endorsement of progressive lawmakers including Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). He also received the backing of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, which he is set to join as a newly elected lawmaker.
Prior to running for office, Frost worked as an activist. A survivor of gun violence, he was a national organizing director at March for Our Lives, a youth-led movement created after the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Florida, to push for gun policy changes. Before that, Frost was an organizer for the American Civil Liberties Union.
In an interview with HuffPost last month, the young Democrat, who was adopted at birth by a musician and a special education teacher, opened up about what made him decide to run after initially rejecting the idea in part due to “internalized ageism.”
“What changed everything for me was connecting with my biological mother, learning about her story, learning about the things she had been through,” he said.
He also shared the struggles he faced as a candidate, including having to work as an Uber driver to pay his bills after running out of money in the first three months of his campaign.
“As a young person who just doesn’t have a lot of money, I’ve been living literally paycheck to paycheck this entire year and at times didn’t have money to feed myself,” Frost told HuffPost.