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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

West Side teen running for Washington state representative

By Eric Wilkinson Associated Press

MILL CREEK, Wash. – As he clangs another shot off the back iron of his neighborhood basketball hoop in Western Washington, Chase Endresen concedes a pivotal point.

“My skills as a basketball player pale in comparison to my skills as a politician,” he said.

Endresen looks out of place shooting baskets with a couple of buddies in his tie and green blazer, but on the court he insists it isn’t about him.

“You put me on a team, that team is going to win because we’re going to play as a team,” Endresen said.

Judging by his jumper, Endresen is no Bill Bradley, although comparisons can be made to the former New Jersey senator and NBA Hall of Famer.

At 19 years old, Endresen is mounting a serious bid for political office. He’s running for state representative in Snohomish County’s 44th District. When he isn’t working in the kitchen at a Mill Creek restaurant, he’s knocking on doors, selling himself to a skeptical public.

“People ask me if this is for real,” Endresen said. “It’s totally for real. I’m here to make a difference.”

Endresen is running as an independent against an experienced incumbent who has been married longer than Endresen has been alive. The young man sees his youth as an advantage, however. A Bernie Sanders supporter, he’s believes the millennial movement could help him win.

“We’re going to inherit the future,” he said. “The best way to make sure we have a good future is to be involved in the forming of the future.”

A 2014 graduate of Mill Creek’s Jackson High School, Endresen never even ran for student council. Aside from caucusing for Sanders and being selected as a delegate, his experience is thin. He is passionate about the issues, however.

“People will try to use my age against me, but all you really need to do is listen to people and be their voice,” he said. “We have huge issues in this community with drugs, homelessness and education. I want to bring a fresh perspective to get things done.”