Teenage politician thinks big

Monday, September 25th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

b>By Jean Nash Johnson / The Dallas Morning News

Young people – those of you under 18 and ineligible to vote in the November presidential race – listen up. While your parents mull over the choices in 2000, you can get a head start for 2024.

Christian Shelton, an 18-year-old California Democrat, has declared his candidacy for that year and aims to be the first president from the "millennial generation," those born after 1992.

He already made history for being the first among his peers to make a "public claim to the White House." He initially announced his candidacy last fall at his personal Web site. "I hope I can count on your vote in 2024 and be the first Democratic president elected from California," he wrote. "Of course, you cannot elect a president without knowing his or her views and the reason they are running."

The folks who run a millennial Web site noticed Christian and admired his unusual farsightedness and civic passion, says Frank Gregorsky, who runs the site. Here is what Christian, who was 17 then, says about you and your generation.

"I, like many other children, did not find interest in politics until later in life....I explored the components of the president's occupation and the influence of the executive branch. Realizing that no other position in America could have such a positive influence over the nation or, if in the wrong hands, negative influence, my dream of becoming president was born."

Christian's "late" interest came at age 8. He says he has a calling to the presidency. He even started the Young Politicians of America, a group devoted to getting kids involved in politics. To read more about Christian, who's now 18, or to send him e-mail, visit his site at http://members.safepages.com/shelton/. Or check out a recent Q&A with him at www.millennials.com.