Political animal

This 19-year-old gay Democrat and party activist has his sights set on the Georgia General Assembly

Last year, 19-year-old Andrew Niquette was bitten by the political bug. Now, he wants to be a force for change in his South Georgia hometown.

Niquette is openly gay. In a new interview with Project Q Atlanta, he explains that he first became interested in politics during the 2016 Presidential campaign after working for both the Sanders and Clinton campaigns, and attending the Democratic National Convention.

“I went to the convention and I had an amazing time,” he says. “Following the convention, I was picked up by the Democratic Party to serve as the Deputy Regional Organizing Director in South Florida for the campaign for Hillary. So for the rest of the election up until the general election I was in South Florida.”

Now, he’s back in his hometown of Albany, Georgia, where he now plans to run for the Georgia General Assembly next year against 20-year incumbent Rep. Winfred Dukes.

“One of the things I really wanted to be involved with was local politics,” he explains. “I wanted to really get involved to really help out my own community, my own town.”

Niquette is no stranger to being targeted because of his sexuality. Last year, a former Georgia lawmaker criticized his “lifestyle” in a scathing email sent to leaders of the Georgia Democrats. The email was sent shortly after Niquette announced his bid for a seat with the county party.

Rep. John White blasted out a picture of Niquette innocently kissing his boyfriend, along with a message that said, “I have ZERO Tolerance for this lifestyle.”

“Stuff like that has happened more than once,” Niquette tells Project Q Atlanta. “I’ve gotten homophobic comments.”

But he’s not letting a few internet bullies get in his way.

“One of my main goals now is to try to change local politics here and to try to get more people involved in all ways. Especially now, to get people to understand that equality doesn’t really stop at a certain race or a certain religion or a certain ethnicity.”

If elected to the Georgia General Assembly next year, Niquette will be the youngest person to ever serve in the Georgia General Assembly. He says one of his main focuses will be on equality.

“There’s only so much I can do as one person in terms of LGBT rights and civil justice and everything,” he says, “but I will make sure to make that a major point in my campaign.”

h/t: Project Q Atlanta