Mother of Teenage Candidate Rejoices Over Son’s Bid for City Council

Elizabeth Breland and her son, 18-year-old City Council Candidate Seth Breland. Photo courtesy of Ms. Breland

A year ago, she could ground him. Next year, he could be her representative at City Hall.

Elizabeth Breland — mother of 18 year old Seth Breland (D), who is running to succeed outgoing City Councilmember Barry Grodenchik (D-Bayside Hills, Bellerose, Douglaston, Floral Park, Fresh Meadows, Glen Oaks, Hollis, Hollis Hills, Holliswood, Little Neck, New Hyde Park, Oakland Gardens, Queens Village) spoke with Queens County Politics to share her memories, praises, and observations of what makes her son the best candidate for the seat.

The 2012 vice presidential debate between then-Vice President Joe Biden (D) and former U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) was the event that sparked Seth’s interest in politics at the age of ten, she recalled.

An acquaintance tried to stump him by quizzing him on the issues of the debate –– issues that he had just started to become aware of. The young Breland accepted the challenge and started developing his knowledge of politics.

Elizabeth Breland with a young Seth Breland. Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Breland

“He started following different parties online, started researching, started investigating, and his interest pretty much took off from there,” said Ms. Breland.

This fascination would lead him to pursue his first professional foray into politics volunteering at the office of State Assemblymember David Weprin (D-Richmond Hill, Fresh Meadows), she said. 

“Whereas some of his friends were playing sports, swimming, and engaging in other activities during the summer, he was donning a three-piece suit and going to work,” she said.

She added that his passion, motivation, and ambition to serve the public stayed with him to this day, noting that his knowledge of the district makes him a formidable candidate, though his age could be a double-edged sword.

“He’s out there participating. He’s gone to public school. He has friends in the district. He frequents the parks. He shops at the local grocery stores. He takes mass transit, so he knows the issues that come with the position,” Ms. Breland said. “Unfortunately, there are some people who might look at him and see a young person and be too quick to dismiss him. Some people might look at his age and get the idea that he’s inexperienced and not really up to the job.”

Ms. Breland also expressed confidence that the values she instilled in her son are crucial for any elected official.

“He has an ability to speak to people, be honest, to display empathy, the true concern that he has for the people in the district and in general,” she said. “He’s very family-oriented. He’s a good friend. He’s a great son. He’s hardworking, and I think all of those values are gonna contribute very nicely to his campaign and his pursuits. He’s a good person. He’s a good soul.”