Sonneborn upbeat, despite election defeat
Ethan Sonneborn, the 14-year-old candidate in the Democratic primary race for governor, drew close to 100 supporters to his campaign celebration in Winooski on Tuesday evening — Primary election day. People of a variety of ages wearing campaign pins ate cake and stood around as the polls closed.
Sonneborn was at the center of the action, talking with his campaign manager, a fellow student at Mount Abraham Union High School in Bristol.
The young politician may be too young to drink, but that didn’t stop his campaign from setting up a beer tent outside the party.
Sonneborn said before the results were made official that he would “strongly consider” running for office again.
“We did our best, and I intend to stay involved in politics,” he said.
Sonneborn has made national headlines for his campaign, which he described as “an enlightening experience.” Vermont is one of two states that has no minimum age requirement to be governor.
He said he intended from the beginning to stay in the race until the primary, but the traction his campaign gained took him by surprise. He got 4,659 votes statewide, or approximately 6.9 percent of the total votes cast in the Democratic gubernatorial primary, according to information posted on the Vermont Secretary of State’s website on Wednesday morning.
“I knew that I had a coherent message, I thought about my message,” Sonneborn said. “I didn’t think I would get this much support, you know 1 percent of the vote, that’s a win.”
The focus of his campaign has been largely on involvement in politics, particularly with youth.
“It’s crucial no matter your age, no matter anything in your background, that you get involved in the process,” Sonneborn said. “If you’re 75 and you’ve never voted, it’s not too late, get involved in the process.”
That message has resonated at home. Sonneborn’s father cast his first ballot in this election — for his son.
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