Whether by design or accident, Vermont’s founders imposed no age requirement on those who could run for governor of this state. Town officials in Vermont must be legal voters, meaning they have taken the voter’s oath and are at least 18 years old. No such requirement exists for Vermont’s highest office. The constitutional quirk paved the way for Ethan Sonneborn, 13, of Bristol, to announce this summer that he’s running for governor. Eligible candidates must have simply lived in Vermont for four years before the election — “which I’ve tripled, and then some,” said Sonneborn, a 13-year resident of Vermont. The youngest governor to lead Vermont was F. Ray Keyser, Jr., who was 34 years old when he took office in 1961, according to the state Archives and Records Administration. Sonneborn, who is starting eighth grade this fall at Mount Abraham Union Middle/High School, hopes to beat that record by a good 20 years.
The young Democrat follows the news closely, chooses his words deliberately, and has a ready response when asked about such thorny topics as marijuana legalization or racism. He supports marijuana legalization, and he says he’s running to ensure legal protections for minorities and LGBT Vermonters amid what he sees as increasingly common white nationalism.
What does he do for fun? Model United Nations — and, apparently, launching campaigns. “I am running to win,” the young candidate said, “but I would very happily settle for sending a message about young people in politics.” Sonneborn says he hopes to combat cynicism and apathy.
Full Article: Meet the 13-year-old running for Vermont governor.