PITTSBURGH. (KDKA) – Braddock Borough now officially has a new mayor in 29-year-old financial analyst Chardae Jones.
Jones is part of a growing trend in the Pittsburgh Area.
More Millennials are holding official positions, or being elected.
Jones replaces John Fetterman, now lieutenant governor, and among the many ways she’s different from Fetterman is her age.
“I come with fresh perspectives and new ideas, a millennial voice. I felt like it was missing here,” says Jones.
Jones is not alone.
Millennials are entering politics in record numbers, replacing the older folks.
“It’s every baby boomers nightmare,” said University of Pittsburgh political science Professor Kristin Kanthak.
Millennials like U.S. Reps. Conor Lamb, age 34, and Guy Reschenthaler, age 35, and PA Sen. Lindsey Williams, age 35, and PA Reps. Summer Lee, age 31, and Sara Innamorato, age 32.
And then we have the local mayors.
Besides Jones, age 29, of Braddock, there’s Mayor Emily Marburger of Bellevue, age 30, and Mayor Matthew Rudzki of Sharpsburg, age 32, and Mayor Marita Garrett of Wilkinsburg, age 32.
For years, the political process seems to have been controlled by Baby Boomers, those born before 1965.
What’s interesting is that those replacing them are the Millennials, those born after 1985.
“They’re running for office more than we’ve ever seen young people run for office,” Kanthak told KDKA political editor Jon Delano on Wednesday.
“They have very different approaches and opinions and views about the world.”
Kanthak says even in politically conservative Western Pennsylvania, young people are making a move politically.
“They have sort of over the last year or so flexed their muscles for the first time, and I don’t think they are going anywhere soon,” Kanthak said.
This year’s elections will be another chance for young people to hit the ballot.
But Millennials shouldn’t get too cocky.
Generation Z is right behind them, like 19-year old Ashley Priore, a Pitt student running for Pittsburgh School Board this year.