A University of Maryland undergraduate student is running for Frederick County's Board of Education.
Camden Raynor, a junior economics and history major at this university, is the third candidate to file in the Board of Education race to be decided this November. He graduated from Middletown High School in Frederick County in 2016.
"I'm not running as a 19-year-old," Raynor told The News-Post. "I'm a citizen of the county who happens to be 19."
He has served on Frederick County's Family Life Advisory Committee for the past four years, and he ran for the student representative on the board position when he was in high school.
Raynor commutes to this university and will attend classes on campus twice a week, so he will be available to attend board meetings, which are typically held twice a month.
Raynor said he supports raising salaries for county teachers and instructional assistants, and thinks the school system places too much emphasis on teaching STEM fields.
Raynor said his biggest priority, though, is ensuring equity of resources countywide. Population growth in the southern half of the county has focused many education infrastructure projects there, and that may be leaving other parts of the county feeling "neglected," Raynor said.
"I don't want some kids learning in buildings from the '50s and others learning in a palace," he said.
Running as a young person can be daunting, he said, and campaigning comes with a learning curve.
"I have a giant map of the county and all the precincts on my wall and looking at it, it's overwhelming," he said. "There is no book you can buy, and if they're trying to sell one to you, they're lying."
But when it comes to managing a potential board post and his obligations as a student, Raynor said his university schedule, which only requires him to be on campus twice a week, will help. Raynor said adult candidates face and handle such challenges too.
"That's an example of a question older candidates don't get asked," he said. "Like 'How do you plan on being on the board and being a mother or a father or a working person?'"
The other two candidates in the race are 18-year-old Edison Hatter and current board president Brad Young. Four slots on the county's education board are opening up this year, alongside the student member position.
Raynor isn't the first student from this university to try their hand at local politics lately. Three university students ran in November's College Park City Council election, but none won a seat, while all incumbent council members who ran for re-election reclaimed their positions.
Raynor said he's going to be running an "extensive absentee ballot campaign," particularly geared toward college students from Frederick County attending school elsewhere in the state.
"College students are crucial part of my coalition," Raynor said. "Young people have a reputation of not caring. This is your chance to care about something."