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At 22 years old, Doug Oberman is running for office

The student is running as the Democratic nominee for District 93 in northeast Broward County.

At+just+22+years+old%2C+Doug+Oberman+would+be+the+youngest+House+representative+in+the+state+of+Florida.+Photo+courtesy+of+Doug+Oberman.
At just 22 years old, Doug Oberman would be the youngest House representative in the state of Florida. Photo courtesy of Doug Oberman.

At just 22 years old, Doug Oberman would be the youngest House representative in the state of Florida. Photo courtesy of Doug Oberman.

At just 22 years old, Doug Oberman would be the youngest House representative in the state of Florida. Photo courtesy of Doug Oberman.

Nate Nkumbu, Contributing Writer

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You may have heard Doug Oberman’s name read off a class roster. Soon, Broward residents will also read it on a ballot.

Oberman, a Democrat and public safety administration major, is running for the Florida House of Representatives against incumbent Republican George Moraitis. The seat they are vying for is in District 93, which covers northeast Broward County.

“I’m up for the challenge,” Oberman said of taking on Moraitis, who has been holding office for six years. “It’s all about confidence, and as long as I hold that confidence and envision defeating Moraitis, then I can beat him.”  

At 22 years old, Oberman would be the youngest representative in the state. The Florida House of Representatives allows anyone who is at least 21 years old to run for election.

He added that the reason he’s running is because of his passion for public service. His campaign revolves around two issues: clean energy and championing LGBT rights.

“There’s matters in the legislature that need to be brought up,” he said. “LGBT and gender identity need to be given protection class status. Clean energy is also an issue that needs more attention.

He said that many from the LGBT community can be fired from their jobs or denied housing because of their sexual preferences. He also emphasized that there is a large amount of potential in the state for solar and wind energy technology.   

Oberman attacked his opponent by questioning his rapport with the people he represents. “Not many people in northeast Broward County know who Moraitis is, nor do the people know that he’s their representative. There’s a level of disconnect.”

He continued: “We see the system in Tallahassee is broken. We also see that many people in Tallahassee are nothing more but cogs in the Republican machine. They don’t help their constituents.”

Reached for comment at his office Tuesday, Moraitis disagreed through Blake MacDiarmid, his campaign strategist.

“Representative Moraitis is born and raised in the district. He has made education and and the economy his top priority in Tallahassee and he has been elected three times because of his work in the legislation,” said Diarmid.      

When asked about how he balances his personal life and his campaign, Oberman said, “I don’t have much of a social life because of this.”

He added: “It takes a lot of time, and a few people are helping to run my campaign. There’s a lot of people in both northeast Broward County and within the Democratic Party that are going door to door and campaigning. It takes a lot of volunteers and time.”

Joseph Kreps is one of Oberman’s supporters. The two met at an Owls for Bernie event in Miami.

A self-proclaimed activist for the Democratic Party in South Florida, Kreps says his support for Oberman is because of the candidate’s willingness to shake the system in Tallahassee.

“I am thrilled to see the interest and passion in the youth of our country, concerning this current election cycle,” Kreps said in an email. “The most valuable thing that we as citizens have is our ability to vote. Unfortunately, our political parties do nothing to bring fresh new faces and ideas into the system.”

The activist suggested that adults enter politics early for the good of the political system. “I wish more young men and women would run for office and the the political parties would embrace them and their ideas,” Kreps said. “It is my pleasure to offer advice and encouragement to Doug and welcome the media’s interest in his campaign.”

Oberman said he has the people’s best interest in mind, and that the man tasked with acting on their behalf is no longer the best option.

“We need someone in office to defend the people, to fight for them.”

Nate Nkumbu is a contributing writer with the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email nnkumbu2016@fau.edu or tweet him @FoureyedNate.

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