Black Excellence: 19-Year-Old Kalan Haywood Jr. Will Make History As The Youngest State Legislator In Wisconsin

Photo via: Haywood for State Assembly 

Kalan Haywood Jr. has wanted to run for office since the age of 8, when "Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett attended a groundbreaking of a building project by Haywood's family real estate business," reports the Journal Sentinel

Now, after defeating five Democratic challengers in the primary election with no Republican opponents, the 19-year-old is set to make history as the youngest lawmaker in Wisconsin. He will be sworn into the Assembly chambers of the Wisconsin Capitol to represent Milwaukee's 16th District. 

"Our future is no longer at the mercy of stale politics and self-serving solutions,” said Haywood. "Together we must connect the wisdom of our elders and the zeal and innovation of our young people to move the needle forward for the 16th District. It is in our hands, we will take quick, measured, and decisive action for the good of the people. Our time is now. The future that is repeatedly spoken of is here." 

The Cardinal Stritch University student has been building his political career since his early teens as his passion for public service positioned him to be elected to the Milwaukee Youth Council at the age of 14 and then as president of the council from 2015-2017. He told the Journal Sentinel that he believes that his age is his biggest asset. With his recent election, Haywood may also be the nation's youngest legislator. 

"I am not aware of any legislators younger than 20 at the moment, so it is likely that if a 19-year-old was just elected that he would be the youngest state legislator out there," said John Mahoney, policy specialist at the NCSL's Center for Legislative Strengthening.

Haywood will be sworn into office in January of 2019. 

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