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Groton - Aundré Bumgardner, a college-age student in Groton, said Thursday he would seek the Republican nomination for the 41st House District seat to run against State Rep. Elissa Wright, D-Groton.
Bumgardner, who turns 20 on July 5, announced his candidacy at a news conference at Eastern Point Beach. He started in politics volunteering for Rob Simmons in 2010, worked as an intern during Tom Foley's campaign for governor and later became field director for Paul Formica's 2012 congressional bid. Bumgardner's mother is the interim dean of students at Jennings School in New London; his father works for the Water and Sewer Department in East Lyme.
Bumgardner said he's running because he believes the state's future depends on revitalizing cities. He said towns also need more independence and policies should support more job creation.
"People my age are not saying, 'Hey, I just got this great job,'" he said. "They're saying, 'I can't get a job. I'm getting out of this state as soon as possible.'"
Bumgardner attended the Regional Multicultural Magnet School and the Interdistrict School for Arts and Communication in New London, then the Cambridge School of Weston, a private, boarding high school in Massachusetts. He attended Stetson University in Florida for about a year and plans to enroll in a college in eastern Connecticut. - Deborah Straszheim