Two 24-year-old Democrats from opposite ends of the Commonwealth hope to be the newest and youngest members of the General Assembly next year. Kendrick Bryan is from Elizabethtown and hopes to unseat longtime lawmaker Jimmie Lee. Tyler Murphy is from Greenup County and is challenging state representative Tonya Pullin.
Bryan and Murphy’s bids for office come after a trio of young Republicans in their 20s successfully ran for the state House two years ago. Both Bryan and Murphy say their desire to run comes from a willingness to change the longtime conversations in Frankfort. And Bryan says this year is just the start of a new, younger wave.
“I think you will definitely see a younger wave of individuals because voters are tired of the overspending and over-promising and the feuds. People want honest government,” Bryan says.
Both men said only a younger, newer generation can provide that honesty. They’ve both been involved in politics for years—Murphy for nearly two decades in his local Democratic party and Bryan as the student body vice president at Western Kentucky University.
Candidates must be at least 24 years old to run for state representative. And while others have encouraged them to start with local office first, both men say they want to make an immediate difference where they say it matters: on the state level.
“You know again it’s our future that’s on the line,” Murphy says. “So I think that’s why a lot of young people are stepping up or getting more involved because we’re kind of concerned with the direction we are going and we realize that the same old approach isn’t cutting it anymore.”