The former College Democrats president plans to focus on student suffrage and mental health in his campaign.
Source: Courtesy of Miles Brown
Source: Courtesy of Miles Brown
Former College Democrats President Miles Brown ’23 announced his campaign for New Hampshire state representative on Instagram and Twitter on Thursday. Brown, a government major from West Hartford, Conn., will campaign in the summer leading up to the state’s Democratic primaries on Sept. 13 and plans to focus on student suffrage and mental health.
Brown is running for a seat in Grafton County’s 12th District, a four-seat state legislature district that includes the cities of Hanover and Lyme. Brown said he plans to stay in New Hampshire over the summer to campaign, and if elected, he will stay in Granite State for his entire two-year term.
“Being a representative in the New Hampshire house would be my top priority, I don’t anticipate missing any votes or hearings,” Brown said, adding that he would rearrange his class schedule to allow for trips to Concord.
Candidates for public office must file their campaigns in early June. Currently, anyone living in New Hampshire who is eligible to vote in the United States can apply in New Hampshire. The primary will be on September 13 and Election Day will be on November 8.
Brown served from January 2021 to April 2022 on the board of directors of the Hanover and Lyme Democrats and the Upper Valley Democrats.
“I think I have the connections to work with the students and residents of the city, whom I hope to represent equally,” Brown said.
Brown said he first realized he wanted to run for political office after seeing presidential candidates speak on campus in 2019 and working for former state Rep. Garret Muscatel. ’20.
“I remember within three weeks going to see Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigeg, Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar — all within a five-minute walk of my dorm,” Brown said. “It was a really special moment where I was like ‘wow.’ As residents of New Hampshire, we have a real opportunity to shape the country.
If elected, Brown plans to focus on maintaining the right to vote, especially for students.
“There have been numerous attempts over the past few years in the New Hampshire State Legislature to restrict the student vote,” Brown said. “I want to be a voice for the youth and students of the state…the thought of me not being able to vote here is pretty scary.”
Brown said the second main political issue he would like to focus on, if elected, is student mental health.
“I hope that as a young person, as a university student, I am more in tune with recent developments [in] mental health and treatment, that I can help reform New Hampshire’s mental health education,” Brown said. “I think New Hampshire [K-12] schools can do a much better job.
Specifically, Brown said New Hampshire should guarantee mental health days for students, during which students take days off to address mental health issues. He noted that in most public schools in the United States, mental health issues are not considered an excused absence from missed class.
“By allowing students to take those days off, we could give them a break and help them recover,” he said.
Brown said he has about 20 volunteers who plan to work on his campaign. According to Brown, Prescott Herzog ’25 and Sophia Bokaie ’24 will play larger roles in the campaign, although their specific roles have yet to be determined.
Bokaie said she first met Brown after becoming involved with the College Democrats in her freshman year and had worked with him at the club ever since.
“[Brown] is highly respected not only by his Dartmouth peers, but also by other elected New Hampshire politicians,” Bokaie said. “Representing Hanover…having a student voice is very important,” she added.
Herzog, who is from Claremont, NH, said he had been involved in Upper Valley politics for “some time” and had witnessed Brown’s leadership in the College Democrats.
“I really believe [Brown] wants to not only represent students, but also be very impactful in its political clout,” Herzog said.
College Democrats will endorse Brown for the state post, according to organization president Gabi Rodriguez ’23.
“[Brown] [and] is a strong supporter of progressive issues.
Currently, in the 12th district, there are four state representatives but none of them is a student, according to Brown. With more than 4,000 undergraduate students in the district, Brown said there should be a student representative in Concord.
“We need to send a student to State House to reflect the interest of young people,” Brown said. “There are a lot of lawmakers who have been in the State House for more than 10 terms now and it’s time for new ideas, new perspectives.”