Gen Z is in the House.
Florida Democrat Maxwell Alejandro Frost, 25, made history during Tuesday’s midterm elections as the first member of Gen Z — anyone born after 1996 — to be elected to Congress.
Frost won Florida’s 10th Congressional District in the Orlando area, whose seat was recently vacated by Rep. Val Demings — who ran for Senate and lost against incumbent Republican Marco Rubio.
Frost, whose campaign raised more than $1.2 million, beat Republican and Army veteran Calvin Wimbish, 51, by more than 30,000 votes, the Associated Press reported.
“WE WON!!!! History was made tonight,” Frost tweeted after the race was called for him. “We made history for Floridians, for Gen Z, and for everyone who believes we deserve a better future. I am beyond thankful for the opportunity to represent my home in the United States Congress.”
Here are five things to know about one of the newest and youngest members of Congress, and his historic win:
He’s a progressive activist backed by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren
Frost, whose campaign site describes him as running for “social, racial & economic justice,” campaigned on gun control and Medicare for all, as well as voting and abortion rights, and addressing climate change. So he landed high-profile endorsements from Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
After winning the Democratic nomination last summer, he tweeted: “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 is the first Afro Cuban American elected to Congress
Frost highlights his Cuban heritage on his campaign bio page, describing how his mother put him up for adoption after she was “caught in a cycle of drugs, crime, and violence while pregnant” without health care. He also writes about experiencing gun violence and “police abuse firsthand” in his community, and recalls how his grandmother “worked in Miami factories more than 70 hours a week.”
He’s already butted heads with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis
In June, Frost went viral for interrupting an interview that DeSantis was giving to call on the governor to do more about gun control. “Nobody wants to hear from you,” DeSantis said at the time.
Frost told the Associated Press that he was just getting into “good trouble,” which was an homage to the late congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis.
“That video is really a microcosm of what’s going on in Florida — the governor shooing people off who might have a different opinion, being rude, being a bully,” Frost told the AP. “And we know the majority of people in this state are not in line with that type of governance and that type of thinking, and I truly believe that’s part of what led us to victory here.”
Still, DeSantis won reelection to a second term Tuesday in a dominant victory over Democrat Charlie Crist.
He’s filling Val Demings’ vacated seat in Orlando
As noted above, Frost won Florida’s 10th Congressional District in Orlando, which had been held by Democrat Val Demings for three terms. Demings vacated her seat to campaign against incumbent GOP Senator Marco Rubio for one of Florida’s coveted Senate seats, but Rubio held on.
It should be noted that the district has been rated “solid Democratic” by several analyst teams, so his midterm election victory wasn’t an enormous surprise. The biggest upset was when he beat out the crowded Democratic primary field to clinch the nomination in the first place — including former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, who was in Congress from 1993 to 2017, and the former Congressman Alan Grayson.
This was the first election year that Gen Z members were old enough to run.
Twenty-five is the minimum age required to be a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, which means this is the first year that members of Gen Z — born in 1997 and beyond — have been old enough to run. (Thirty is the minimum age for the U.S. Senate.)
Axios noted that he’s less than half of the average age of current U.S. House members, which is 58. He also worked part-time driving for Uber while he was campaigning.
“Don’t count out young people,” Frost tweeted back in August.
Associated Press reporting contributed to this article.