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21-year-old House Member Puts 'Fresh' In 'Freshman'

Rep. Amber Mariano, R-Pasco, is the youngest member of the Florida legislature. She's 21.
Mariano campaign

Twenty-one-year-old Representative Amber Mariano is vowing to put the “fresh” in freshman as the youngest woman ever elected to the Florida House.

The University of Central Florida student couldn’t drink legally until October 18th and has 12 more credit hours to go before graduating, but she says she will bring a unique perspective to lawmaking.

“I’m not 40 years into my career just doing this to kill time. Because this is my dream. So, I think I’m really going to be a great asset to the Florida House.”

The young Republican beat a Democratic incumbent by just 748 votes running as an outsider. But Mariano is no stranger to politics -- or even the Florida House. She worked as a legislative intern and is the daughter of a four-term Pasco County commissioner. She hopes one day to become the nation’s first woman president.

A Miami native, former WFSU reporter Jim Ash is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of experience, most of it in print. He has been a member of the Florida Capital Press Corps since 1992.