Following Tuesday’s midterm elections, the results of which in some places have yet to be determined, at least one candidate emerged as a noteworthy winner.
In the Democrat stronghold of Orlando, Florida, the seat vacated by Rep. Val Demings (D) so she could fight a losing battle against Sen. Marco Rubio (R), was picked up by Maxwell Alejandro Frost, a part-time Uber driver who is being touted as the first Gen Z person elected to Congress.
Frost is 25 years old, the minimum age to run for Congress, and is described as an activist, a former March For Our Lives organizer, and a gun control advocate who supports Black Lives Matter as well.
Frost has described himself as a survivor of a shooting that took place in downtown Orlando in 2016, a few months after the infamous and deadly mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in that city.
“I come from a generation that has gone through more mass-shooting drills than fire drills,” Frost told the New York Times in August. “This is something that my generation has had to face head-on: being scared to go to school, being scared to go to church, being scared to be in your community. That gives me a sense of urgency.”
Maxwell Frost is officially the first member of Gen Z elected to Congress. He took the stage minutes ago. pic.twitter.com/9KFOMYs2Sl
— Kelsi Thorud (@KelsiThorud) November 9, 2022
Frost is the son of a Cuban immigrant who fled the communist regime there and came to Miami in the 1960s as part of the Freedom Flights. He was given up by his mother for adoption but was reunited with her last year and decided to run for Congress with gun control as a top priority, which may seem congruous with his experience in Orlando, but not so much with his family having fled communism.
“She didn’t have a lot of money,” Frost said of his mother. “She didn’t have access to the medicine she needed and health care, so I want to fight for a world, for a country where everyone can have money, have access to a good life,” he said.
Deming’s endorsement of her young successor was as follows:
“I’m proud to support Maxwell Alejandro Frost for Congress because he’s going to continue to fight to end gun violence, take on our housing crisis, bring down rising costs, and continue to be the bold leader Central Florida needs in D.C.”
Elsewhere in Florida and outside the blue mecca that is home to Disney World, the GOP appears to be emerging as the dominant political party.
Thanks in part to the redrawing of congressional district maps in the state, at least six new U.S. House seats are available this year which Republicans look to secure to their advantage. Following the 2020 Census, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) demanded the state legislature design a district map that would maximize Republicans’ chances of success after he vetoed their initially proposed map.
Heading into the midterms, Florida’s seats in the U.S. House were divided by 16 Republicans and 11 Democrats. Due to population growth, a 28th seat was added, and as such, it appears it will be split by 20 Republicans and eight Democrats for the near future.
The 27th District in the Miami area has historically flipped back and forth, this time electing Republican Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar and retaining the GOP seat there. While most other races saw their incumbents heading back to Washington, D.C., three districts are projected to flip to the GOP, including the 13th District won by Republican Anna Paulina Luna, an Air Force Veteran who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump.
The 15th District in the Tampa area is new and had no incumbent. That seat was also taken by a Republican, Laurel Lee, who was at one time a Florida secretary of state.
In all, it appears Florida has shifted from a swing state to one that is solidly in the GOP fold, aided no doubt by Gov. Ron DeSantis’ slam-dunk reelection in which he captured the support of Miami-Dade Co., which has not gone for a Republican since 2002.
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