Young And Willing, Teenage Politician Vies to Make History in Tallahassee

Delaitre J. Hollinger hasn’t been out of high school for a year yet. He starts at Tallahassee Community College in a few weeks. But first, the 18-year-old hopes to claim a seat on the city commission.

“I plan to get the word out to students on FAMU and FSU campus to let them know about my campaign and what my ideas for Tallahassee are,” said

Hollinger, a young man who is making history. A Democrat, he is the youngest candidate ever to vie for the office.

Hollinger graduated from Amos P. Godby High School, class of 2011, six months early, due to his high academic achievement. In high school, Hollinger was

in an Information Technology Program, a computer class for high-performing students.

Born and raised in Tallahassee, Hollinger grew up in a single-parent home in the Frenchtown neighborhood of Tallahassee.

“My mom is very supportive in my campaign,” said Hollinger. “She knows this is what I want to do, and she knows we’ll be successful.”

At 16, Hollinger asked Leon County Commission to name a local park and recreation facility after two of Tallahassee’s community leaders: Nickie Beasley and Nick Nims. That dedication was done successfully, and Hollinger said since then, he has never missed a city commission meeting.

“The night the city of Tallahassee approved the park’s renaming by a unanimous vote is when I fell in love with politics,” said Hollinger.

Hollinger will start at Tallahassee Community College in the summer, and upon his program’s completion, he plans to enroll at FAMU to major in Journalism and African-American studies.

“I’ve always had a great love for FAMU. I basically grew up on FAMU’s campus,” said Hollinger, whose mother worked at the university for nearly 23 years.

“I’m always excited to see someone so young and passionate about what they do. It’s great to know he’s determined to serve the community,” said William Becett, a FAMU graduate and Tallahassee resident.

Hollinger plans to get the community’s attention by going door to door and organizing rallies to promote his campaign and what he plans to do as city commissioner.

“I see him as a new perspective to community,” said Julianna Ajayi, 21, a senior English student from Houston. “His mind hasn’t been corrupted by the negative aspects of politics, so people will see the purity of his cause and be attracted to it.”

Hollinger believes it is his calling to be involved in politics, and no matter the outcome of the August election, he will always be involved in it.

Hollinger was a member of the 2011 FAMU College of Arts and Sciences Gallery of Distinction Committee, where he served as Historical Advisor and Technology Coordinator.