A 19-year-old in Georgia became the youngest eligible woman ever to run for office in Georgia after she won a legal battle on Thursday to compete in a local city council race.
State law requires that candidates be 21 to seek office, unless a city charter notes otherwise, according to Fox 5 Atlanta. The DeKalb county board of elections ruled that Mary-Pat Hector could run because the Stonecrest City Charter simply says that candidates must be over voting age. Her opponent had challenged her candidacy, saying she was too young.
“Justice was served, and the law prevailed. The board’s decision is a testament to the inclusion of the next generation’s participation in the democratic process,” Hector said in a statement.
Hector, a Spelman College student and a youth coordinator with the National Action Network nonprofit said that she ran to give more young people a voice.
“Young people are starting to really understand and see that they can truly be a part of the political system and they can truly run for office,” she told CBS 46. She also expressed confidence to the station that she could balance her responsibilities being a student and a politician.
The city council election is on March 21.