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Political newcomers | Meet the young candidates running for Virginia's House of Delegates, 79th district

The district is comprised of communities in the cities of Norfolk, Chesapeake and Portsmouth

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The term 'too young' isn't in their vocabulary.

"28 is young, but not too young to serve your community and commonwealth," Lawrence Mason said. 

“When we look at the data, 30% of the voting power is from young voters who are between 18-30 years old," Nadarius Clark said. 

Both political newcomers, Mason and Clark are vying for the 79th District of the House of Delegates in Virginia's General Assembly. 

The seat, held by Del. Steve Heretick since 2015, is up for grabs after Clark defeated Heretick in the Democratic primary by 154 votes. 

When voters head to the polls next week, it'll be the first time either Mason or Clark are running for political office as first-time candidates. 

They both say age is just a number, and look to change the political landscape in the General Assembly. 

Lawrence Mason

Mason is a conservative navy veteran, and volunteer first responder who lives in the Western Branch community in Chesapeake within the 79th District who believes in a limited government. 

“I firmly believe government should work for citizens and not dictate how things should happen," Mason told 13News Now Thursday. 

In an interview, Mason said he'd like to re-invigorate social programs that have been "significantly reduced by COVID" and according to his campaign website lists supporting small businesses, individual rights, public safety, veterans, public infrastructure and more as his key beliefs. 

Nadarius Clark

At 26 years old, Clark made headlines earlier this summer after he beat Del. Heretick in the Democratic primary. If elected, Clark would become the youngest Democratic delegate ever elected to the General Assembly, and the first African American to serve the 79th District. 

Clark was born and raised in Hampton Roads, attending I.C. Norcom High School in downtown Portsmouth. He is a progressive community activist running on key issues like education, police reform, and healthcare. 

“We really need stronger vocational programs, primarily in the city of Portsmouth," Clark told 13News Now.

The 79th District is comprised of neighborhoods from the cities of Chesapeake, Portsmouth and Norfolk. 

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