Girl, 8, takes a liking to governor’s job

Genea Harrison, 8, gets advice from senior speechwriter Holly Nunn during Genea\'s stint as Governor For a Day on Tuesday. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – She didn’t run for office. She’s not even old enough to vote. But 8-year-old Genea Harrison, of Hyattsville, was Maryland’s Governor for a Day.

Harrison, who’ll be a fourth-grader at Rosa Parks Elementary in Prince George’s County in the fall, won an essay contest to land the governor’s gig. Was she nervous?

“No; I was excited,” Genea says. “And when I’m excited I can’t sleep,” she told reporters during a photo opportunity.

What are her priorities? Smaller class sizes in the state’s public schools, saving the Chesapeake Bay and, as she puts it, “supporting police and firefighters.” Asked to elaborate, she explained she would “give them attention with their jobs. And maybe a one-dollar raise.”

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The governor’s Web site reflected Genea’s rise.

The Governor for a Day program was instituted to inspire girls to dream big – something Genea has no trouble with. She wants to be a science teacher “because I like to experience new things in science,” but as Genea sat behind the governor’s desk in his office in the State House, she was really enjoying being governor. She said she might run for the job “for real” someday.

During the day, Genea was assisted by the governor’s staff and got some advice, including not to get stressed by all the media buzzing around her. Did she have advice for the other governor, Martin O’Malley? “Keep on working well, and I hope I’ll see you next year!”

WTOP’s Kate Ryan contributed to this report. Follow @kateryanWTOP and @WTOP on Twitter.


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