A 23-year-old UCF student has filed paperwork for the November 2020 election in Florida’s 7th Congressional District.
Armani Salado, a Winter Springs resident, said he’s the youngest candidate to run for a seat in the November 2020 U.S. Congress; a fact he seemingly boasts.
“Some of Our Founding Fathers were men of much younger ages, doing outstanding things to better the lives for their families, their people, & their young country,” Salado said on Twitter.
The young “Latino Conservative” will be 25-years old just before November 2020, making him eligible to become a member of the House of Representatives under Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution.
He will hope to unseat U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy, a two-term democratic congresswoman who represents Seminole County and a portion of Orange County, which includes the broader UCF area.
In a statement to fellow UCF students shared with Knight News, Salado said that as the largest university in the country, UCF offers the world “an abundance of young powerful individuals.” If elected to office, he said he’d work to “incentivize students to stay here and proceed in their careers,” through job growth efforts in the district.
“A lot of students call Orlando, UCF, Seminole County home… but they have to leave to find the jobs their path of study calls for,” Salado said. “With me in Congress, students will have an ally that will make sure Orlando gives them the opportunities of the world.”
Salado was born in Boston, Massachusetts, before settling in Central Florida. The son of Dominican immigrants, he holds an associate degree in political science and expects to graduate this summer with a bachelor’s in history.
It is from this background where much of his perspective and insight blooms.
“Understanding the past will give us the blueprint to the future,” Salado said. “So many leaders, writers, artists, creators of the past have left us their recipes for success … if we only take a slight look, it will enlighten us so much.”
Salado’s political journey began aboard the campaign effort for now Gov. Ron DeSantis, an experience he described as enlightening.
“The people I met, the knowledge I retained and the outright dopeness of being part of the team that elected the best governor in the country is something I’ll never forget,” Salado said.
As a body intended to represent the American people, young people are staggeringly absent among congressional and senate ranks. Currently, the youngest person serving in Congress is Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York. Sworn into the 116th Congress at the age of 29, she also holds title as the youngest woman to be elected into the House.
According to a report by the Congressional Research Service, the average age of a member of the 115th Congress was 57.8 years, among the highest of any Congressional body in recent U.S. history. If elected, Salado would contrast the 115th’s congressional average by nearly 32 years at the time of election. He would also shy a decade younger of the 7th district’s median age of 36.5, according to U.S. Census Bureau.