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President Obama left office with these parting words for Americans: “If you’re disappointed by your elected officials, grab a clipboard, get some signatures, and run for office yourself.” Twenty-two-year-old Will Haskell decided to do just that. If he ran for office and won, he would become the youngest state Senator in Connecticut history.
For years, Haskell’s hometown had reelected the same politician who opposed passing paid family leave, fought increases in the minimum wage, and voted down expansions of voting rights. Haskell’s own vision for Connecticut’s future couldn’t be more different, and he couldn’t stand the idea of an uncontested election. In 2018, he would be a college grad looking for his first job. Why not state Senator? He doesn’t have any professional experience. But he does have a powerful message: there’s no minimum age to being on the right side of history.
100,000 First Bosses is the story of how one twenty-something candidate waged the campaign of his young life, fought for change at the state capitol, and proved that his generation is ready to claim a seat at the table.
Will Haskell was elected to represent his hometown in the Connecticut State Senate in 2018. Just a few months after graduating from college, he and his roommate-turned-campaign manager unseated a Republican incumbent who had been in the legislature for longer than Will had been alive. In the Senate, Will serves as the Chair of the Transportation Committee and the Vice Chair of the Government Administration and Elections Committee, and has focused on college affordability, transportation improvements, and voting rights. In 2019, he helped create Connecticut’s free community college program, so that every high school graduate has an opportunity to pursue a degree. 100,000 First Bosses is his first book.
Olivia Nuzzi is the Washington Correspondent for New York magazine. She has also written for GQ, Esquire, The Daily Beast, Glamour, The Washington Post, and Politico. In 2019, she won the National Magazine Award for journalists under 30 (the ASME NEXT award). She appears frequently on MSNBC and CNN.