Three Youth Under 21 Front-Runners In Maryland School Board Race

By Christina A. Samuels — April 06, 2012 1 min read
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Two teenagers and a 20-year-old are the front-runners in the Prince George’s County, Md. school board elections that will be held Nov. 6.

Prince George’s County, located in suburban Washington, D.C, has 123,800 students. It has a 10-member board with one high school member, who is elected by the county’s Regional Association of Student Governments.

The three youth who won in the Tuesday election garnered large shares of the votes cast.

One of the candidates, 19-year-old Edward Burroughs, is an incumbent who was the youngest member elected to the school board when he won in 2010. He was the only incumbent on the board who did not lose his race; he gathered nearly 67 percent of the vote, compared to just 15.5 percent for his closest challenger.

David Murray, 20, captured 56 percent of the vote in his primary, compared to 31 percent for his nearest competitor. And Raaheela Ahmed, 18, who just graduated from high school last year, won 34.5 percent of the vote in the primary, with her nearest competitor gathering about 25 percent.

The Washington Post wrote an article about the Prince George’s County youthquake, noting that it is unusual for such young members to be elected to a board in a district the size of Prince George’s. From the article:

The young candidates used their recent experience in the school system as part of the focus of their campaigns. "My thirteen years in Prince George's schools is fresh in my mind," Ahmed said. "I believe that is a good asset to base my decisions in the future."

However, they may have a challenging general election in front of them, the story continues:

They'll have to persuade parents such as Angie Boulware to cast votes for them. "I know we want to cultivate our young people to take a leadership role, but how are they going to run a [$1.6 billion] budget?" Boulware asked. "Do they know how to run a household budget?"

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A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.