The youngest person running for statewide office on either side of the political aisle this year is Eva Bermudez Zimmerman.
The Hartford native and Newtown resident turns 31 next month, but said her age should not be confused with a lack of experience.
“I’ve worked very hard to get to where I am and make sure that I represent people and policies and advocacy, and I’m bringing that forward,” she said Monday during an interview.
Bermudez Zimmerman only started her campaign days before the Connecticut Democratic Convention in Hartford last Saturday. She entered the race as black and Latino party leaders were enraged that Democratic gubernatorial front-runner Ned Lamont had selected Susan Bysiewicz, a previous adversary, to be his running mate.
Some in the party were under the impression that a person of color would join Lamont on the ticket, and were dismayed by the pick of Bysiewicz, compelling Bermudez Zimmerman to enter the race.
She emerged from the convention with 40 percent of delegates, coming in second to Bysiewicz, the party’s endorsed candidate and former Secretary of the State.
Bermudez Zimmerman said she recognizes that Bysiewiecz has a long history in Connecticut politics and government, but said that doesn’t make her own experience less significant.
“You know, I’m never going to be in a position to say my background is stronger than Susan’s because of her time in the legislature but I know my background is stronger when it comes to voters and conversations.”
Bermudez Zimmerman is a union organizer and previously helped people to sign up for healthcare coverage on Access Health Connecticut.
Those experiences, coupled with her time spent on Capitol Hill as an aide for Rep. Charles Rangel of New York, she said make her ready to step into the job of governor, as the state Constitution lays out.
“We have rules in place, stipulations in place, to prepare ourselves for a situation of how old do you have to be to serve in this office. What credentials do you need to serve in this office? You know what? I meet that threshold.”