The Vermont gubernatorial election has attracted its fair share of candidates. The race for the Democratic nomination, in particular, is heating up. There are four candidates running for the nomination but one of them is a little different. For starters, he’s not old enough to vote and secondly, he’s too young to drive. Ethan Sonneborn is a 14-year-old candidate from Bristol. Even though his age may not allow him to do a lot of adult things, he still managed to meet the requirements needed to take part in the primaries.
However, the kid is not short of confidence. Ethan told reporters that he’s hoping the people of Vermont will take his bid seriously. He argued that he has practical and progressive ideas and to him age is nothing but a number. The 14-year-old believes that the message of his election platform transcends age and as such, he feels he would be better placed to steer Vermont to the future if given the chance.
The Constitution of Vermont doesn’t have many requirements for people who want to seek the Governor’s office. All you need is to be a resident for at least four years before the election. There are no age restrictions. Anyone can throw their hat in the race including a 14-year-old boy. But even then, you cannot just wake up one day and decide you’re going to run. For people who want to seek a nomination by the Democratic Party, there are rules to be followed. For example, candidates must get a substantial number of signatures from local voters in order to prove their worth, and it looks like Ethan has done that too.
Ethan said that his decision to run was inspired by his growing frustration about state and national politics. Once he learned that there was nothing that could stop him from being part of the solution, he simply went for it. Ethan added that the violence witnessed in an alt-right white nationalist rally in Charlottesville was his key trigger. When asked who he looks up to as an inspiration in the political world, well the answer was obvious, John F. Kennedy. Ethan feels that he embodies the vision of Kennedy in building coalitions and connections.
Despite this show of courage, Sonneborn will have a mountain to climb. So far, the boy has raised only $1,700 for his campaign. This is not enough to be competitive, especially when you consider that other older more seasoned candidates will be running campaigns worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Nonetheless, the three candidates Ethan is going up against for the Democratic ticket aren’t people who you’d normally call traditional or seasoned politicians. One candidate, Christine Hallquist, is a former utility’s executive who wants to become the first transgender political candidate. There’s also James Ehlers who is an environmentalist and Brenda Siegel who has been a dance festival organizer. But the overall experience for Ethan has been quite good. Despite his modest campaign budget, he has still managed to get a platform together with the other candidates to speak on his ideas.