Gen Z candidate Karoline Leavitt to win GOP primary in New Hampshire’s 1st District, CNN projects


Karoline Leavitt, a former White House aide to Donald Trump who CNN predicted would win the Republican nomination in New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District, could become one of the first Gen Z members elected to Congress this year. .

Leavitt’s victory is the latest result of the trend of Gen Z candidates running for Congress now that they are 25, the minimum age for being sworn into the House.

Maxwell Frost, a community organizer, won the Democratic nomination in Florida’s 10th congressional district last month at the age of 25. Because the region heavily favors Democrats, he is likely to be elected to Congress in November.

Leavitt, also 25, has a much more competitive race against Rep. Chris Pappas, one of the nation’s most vulnerable House Democrats. But the Republican ran on her age as a strength.

“We have people in Washington, DC who have clung to power twice as long as I’ve been alive,” she told CNN earlier this year. “My youth is a strength and it can already be seen in the election campaign.”

And on Tuesday, as she declared victory, she touted her age as something that set her apart from the crowded GOP field.

“Tonight we made history. And I can’t wait to be the youngest congresswoman in United States history when we beat Chris Pappas,” she said. many of you know, my youth is one of the many reasons I felt compelled to run for Congress in the first place. Because it is my generation of Americans – your children, your grandchildren – who are not well served by the current state of our education system, our media and our entire culture.

Leavitt is more of a political newcomer than his Republican competitors. After graduating from Saint Anselm College in 2019, she went to work at the Trump White House. She eventually became deputy press secretary under White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany. After Trump’s loss, she went to work for New York Rep. Elise Stefanik, who when elected in 2014 at age 30 was the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.

Leavitt’s victory came in the face of millions of dollars in outside spending aimed at halting his rise and helping Matt Mowers, a Republican who failed to win the seat in 2020, win the nomination again. After polls showed Leavitt tied with Mowers, millions poured into the state from outside groups like the Congressional Leadership Fund and Defending Main Street, including in attack ads that called “woke”, “immature” and “irresponsible”.

These Republican groups believed that Mowers, not Leavitt, would be in the best position to take on Pappas. A win for the Mowers would have meant a rematch of their 2020 run, which the Mowers lost by 5 percentage points.

Leavitt’s victory is proof of the effectiveness of emulating Trump’s style and political aggressiveness in the GOP primaries. Both Republicans have worked for Trump — Leavitt in the White House and Mowers during the campaign and at the State Department — but where Mowers tried to walk a fine line in his embrace of Trump, Leavitt was more brash.

Mowers’ caution opened the door for Leavitt and turned the race into one that was as much about style as it was about substance. Mowers and Leavitt centered their campaigns on the same politics that helped elect the former president, but the upstart winner was unapologetic about her support for the former president, particularly the lie that the 2020 election had been stolen.

Earlier this month, when Mowers was asked if he had confidence in the election, the candidate replied, “I have confidence in the New Hampshire election,” but added that there were room to “improve”.

Leavitt vented on Mowers for the response, saying, “The 2020 election was undoubtedly stolen from President Trump,” and accusing Mowers of siding with Biden in believing the Democratic president “rightfully won more votes than Donald Trump”.

Leavitt told CNN earlier in the year that her candidacy and possible victory would show the impact young voters could have.

“The Republican Party,” she said, “must support, recruit and nurture young candidates because we lose with young voters.”

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