20-year-old running for Tennessee House is youngest ever - WKRN News 2

20-year-old running for Tennessee House is youngest ever

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At 20 years old, Joshua Rawlings is the youngest candidate in history to run for the Tennessee General Assembly. At 20 years old, Joshua Rawlings is the youngest candidate in history to run for the Tennessee General Assembly.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -

Most young people reject the idea of politics but not Joshua Rawlings. At 20 years old he’s not only interested in politics, he’s running for political office.

Rawlings is the youngest candidate in history to run for the Tennessee General Assembly.

He hopes to fill the seat currently held by District 51 State Representative Mike Turner, who has decided not to seek another term. District 51 is made of Old Hickory and parts of east Nashville.

Rawlings, who is a Republican, has spent the past several weeks knocking on doors trying to drum up support.

“It’s been such a learning experience and it’s a path that I love going down. It’s the preferred way of life for me,” Rawlings told News 2.

Rawlings grew up in Southern California and attended high school in Los Angeles before moving to Middle Tennessee three years ago.

He says he decided to skip college and opted for real life experience instead.

Since relocating to Old Hickory he’s been working in various restaurants and is currently in a band called New Wave Rebellion.

Rawlings, who turns 21 exactly one month before the primary election, decided to run for office before he even started voting.

“Ever since I was a little puppy I’d say I’ve been interested in legislation and policy,” Rawlings told News 2. “I believe the Tennessee State House has had years and years of bad regulation that has led us down a bad path.”

To some, his age may be a problem, but not to his supporters.

“I’m really excited. I’ve got to say being a young person, of course, some people are going to count you out, however I would say the vast majority of my constituency will be properly represented by me,” said Rawlings, who jokingly added, “because I am not disassociated as a politician, yet.”

Rawlings says his parents are supportive.

He said, “My father, being conservative, and my mother, a bit of a liberal, I’d say I’ve got a balance and perspective on everything there and I’d say my mother can be won over to the other side.”

Rawlings says he hopes he’s someone young voters can relate to and someone who can get them excited about politics.

Rawlings is running against Brian Mason in the August primary. Three democrats are also vying for the seat.

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