Alexandra Hunt said she’s never been a very political person.
“I’m opinionated and driven, but I don’t really cater to making everyone happy,” Hunt said. “I kind of tell things how it is.”
But recently, Hunt launched her 2022 campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives in Pennsylvania’s third congressional district, which covers Center City, West and Northwest Philadelphia. She’s running as a Democrat and is aiming to unseat Democratic congressman Dwight Evans in next year’s primary election. Evans, a former longtime Pennsylvania rep, has been a U.S. congressman since 2016.
The move has her stepping in line with millennials across the country, who are flocking to public office in recent years. A report from August 2020 showed that 236 candidates who ran for Congress in November 2020’s election were millennials, a 266% increase since 2018.
Hunt recently earned her master’s degree in public health from Temple University, and works as a clinical data manager for a biotech company. She was raised in Rochester, New York by two educators, and her father, a history teacher, taught what she called “real American history.” It shaped her views of the U.S., she said, and her current career in public health “reinforced” her more progressive views.
Hunt moved to Philadelphia for college, and after years here, living through the pandemic inspired her decision to run for office. It was the response — “or lack of response” — from elected officials that sealed the deal. The moment came at a food distribution site last summer.
“The line was so long, and I know food insecurity is already a pertinent issue in this district and I realized, I’m not waiting around for someone to do better,” Hunt said.
Hunt acknowledged that Evans has a Democratic stronghold in a city with a history of being a Democratic political machine, but said she “doesn’t scare easily.”
“It’s not a culture I’m going to be a part of,” Hunt said. “I’m going to be as transparent as possible with constituents and fight for the things we need.”
Among her top policies are a new deal for education that address current disparities in the system, fighting for economic justice and higher wages, as well as addressing the climate change crisis. Her career in public health has also made her a supporter of Medicare for All, a policy she said would have saved many lives throughout the pandemic.
Too many people look down on service work, and too many politicians are delaying passing a living wage.
— Alexandra M. Hunt (@ahunt4congress) March 19, 2021
As a millennial, Hunt said her life experiences have made her particularly aware of what Pennsylvania’s young adults are living through. She talks publicly about her own student debt, and her time working as a stripper in college on platforms like Twitter and TikTok, where she hopes to connect with young voters.
“I decided to be transparent, and I didn’t want to be in a place where anything was being used against me. I did it because I needed the finances,” Hunt said. “And I’m not going to be ashamed of it, and I’m hoping I get to connect with other women or male sex workers out there.”
Hunt said she gives props to her Gen Z volunteers for getting in her ear and telling her to use TikTok to promote the campaign.
“I was a bit stubborn about it at first, but now the algorithm is showing my videos to people who would care about them, and some of the comments and feedback are incredible, things like, ‘Wow, I live in your district,'” she said.
Hunt remains at her full-time job while running her campaign, and she said time management has been key so far, as well as prioritizing her health. She’s hoping to mobilize people who have never voted in the past to do so in 2022, and a large part of that goal is inspiring people or convincing them that things can be different.
If she wins, Hunt aims to bring her past organizing and coalition building skills with her to congress where she said it’s important to “work will all different types of people,” especially as more young people are elected.
“I really think that this is a peaceful revolution thats happening right under our noses,” Hunt said. “Our generation, younger generations, even generations above us are tired of the status quo. We’ve found that what’s currently happening doesn’t help us, and I think we’re out to break the cycle.”
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