Statewide Iowa — The non-profit an Iowa legislator co-founded to mentor Generation Z conservatives who’re entering politics is now one of Snapchat’s partners in a push to encourage young people to consider running for local office.
That’s State Representative Joe Mitchell of Mount Pleasant. His Run GenZ group had 200 contacts in the past 10 months, but that jumped to 15-hundred in the first 24 hours after Snapchat’s launch.
Mitchell was 20 years old when he first ran for and won a seat in the Iowa House in 2018.
Mitchell, who’s now in his second term in the Iowa House, launched Run GenZ last year. It offers advice and support to people from his generation who are thinking about running for state and local office.
Four other Republicans in their 20s are co-founders of Run GenZ. Two are women serving in Florida’s legislature. One is a New Hampshire lawmaker who Mitchell says is one of only four openly gay Republicans in elected office in the U.S., and one is a black man who won a seat in West Virginia’s legislature at the age of 18.
Mitchell says having a diverse group is important because it fits the ethos of young Americans who were born around the turn of the century. In addition to Mitchell’s group supporting conservative candidates, Snapchat has partnered with nine other organizations across the political spectrum to encourage young adults to run for office. For example, one is called Emerge America and its candidate recruitment is focused on Democratic women. According to SnapChat, 90 percent of Americans between the ages of 13 and 24 use the social media platform. Those expressing an interest in running for political office through a new tool within the app are matched up and referred to the outside groups for advice.