Florida man with Cuban roots might be headed to Congress, set to run against Republican Calvin Wimbish in the November election
A 25-year-old Florida man with Cuban ancestry who is running for Congress on a platform of stricter gun restrictions, better health care, and a greater emphasis on environmental justice may be elected. Maxwell Frost, who ran for a House seat in Florida’s 10th Congressional District, is projected by CBS News to have won the Democratic primary with more than 34% of the vote.
In November, he will compete against Republican Calvin Wimbish in a seat thought to be a Democratic stronghold. If he moves to Washington in January to fill the position held by Val Demings, he will become the first member of Generation Z to serve in Congress. Politico reports that he would be the only Afro-Cuban in Congress.
Frost spoke with Politico prior to Tuesday’s election about why he entered politics and what he aims to achieve. According to Politico, he has never held public office and has not completed college.
“I quit my job to do this. I drive Uber to pay my bills. It’s a sacrifice, to be honest,” Frost told the publication. “But I’m doing it because I can’t imagine myself not doing anything but fixing the problems we have right now.”
Frost, whose grandmother arrived in Florida from Cuba during the 1960s Freedom Flights “with nothing but a suitcase and no money,” according to his website, ran on a progressive platform centered on expanding Medicare, ending gun violence, improving housing affordability, sustainable and affordable transit, environmental justice, and the climate crisis. In addition, he pledged to prioritize the nation’s pandemic readiness by advocating for more effective and inexpensive vaccines, diagnostics, and prevention techniques.
“We won because of our message: Love. That no matter who you are, you deserve healthcare, a livable wage, and to live free from gun violence,” Frost tweeted on Tuesday night. “We made history tonight. Thank you so much, Orlando.”
Tuesday, Frost’s victory was due to the support of prominent progressives, including his former boss, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, multiple reports say.
“We’ve been talking a lot about these moderates winning against progressives. This is kind of a flip of that dynamic, and also going to make history, likely,” she said.
His win was celebrated by fellow progressives of his generation, with many heralding it as a collective victory.
“Florida just did with [sic] almost everybody in the establishment thought impssible,” gun law activist and Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg tweeted. “Elect Maxwell Frost a 25-year-old progressive activist to congress. Never underestimate the power of pissed off young people.”
A video of Frost’s election watch party shows him surrounded by and celebrating with dozens of other young adults.
Frost is not the only one of his generation with Capitol Hill aspirations. According to the nonpartisan and nonprofit group Open Secrets, at least two more members of Generation Z are running for office in 2022: Tim Baxter, a New Hampshire state lawmaker, and Karoline Leavitt are competing for the New Hampshire 1st Congressional District Republican primary. This month, Raymond Reed also ran for Congress in Missouri’s 2nd Congressional District, although he did not go through the primary.