TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – This month, Florida voters elected the youngest-ever state representative. 21-year-old Amber Mariano from Pasco County is now headed to Tallahassee after she beat out incumbent and democrat Amanda Murphy.
“It was surprising for sure they had me down like 15 percentage points in the polls, so it was a little bit of an upset for the other party,” said Mariano about election night. “I think it is my age, everyone wants a new perspective right now and as you said with Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, that’s the thing that is going on. And people are really interested in having people in there who are going to shake things up or look at things a little bit differently and try and get things fixed,” said Mariano.
Mariano is a student at the University of Central Florida. She still has a semester of college left but will finish next fall so that she can commit her time to her first session as a Florida legislator. Mariano is a graduate of Fivay High School and is the daughter of Pasco County Commissioner Jack Mariano.
“I think being around it my whole life with my dad being a county commissioner, it kind of subliminally got me interested in politics,” said Mariano. “I don’t like to complain about things if I don’t have a way to fix them.”
Mariano already has items on the top of her list to conquer.
“In my district we really have a lot of flooding problems. We need to get state funds to fix those problems but as a statewide issue I think we also need to be focusing more on education. I think that is what I can bring to the table being a student myself, an interesting perspective,” said Mariano.