JT Lewis, the 19-year-old brother of Sandy Hook shooting victim Jesse Lewis, is now running for Connecticut State Senate, according to his social media.
Jesse was killed with 19 other students and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14, 2012.
In his campaign video, JT talks about a call his mother, Scarlett, made to their state senator right after the shooting at Sandy Hook. Tony Hwang, who still serves as Connecticut State Senator, never returned her call.
After years of meeting with mayors, governors, senators, and even President Obama, JT says all of them are in it for themselves, “to take pictures and feel an inflated sense of importance.”
“I’m young, but I know how to lead,” JT says in the video.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. JT and His Mother are Very Close
“Happy Father’s Day!” JT wrote on June 17, 2018. “Sometimes the best dad turns out to be your mom!
JT’s mother, Scarlett, appears to be at his side most of the time. The two work together on school safety reform. She is obviously extremely proud of her son, who is surely going to change the world.
At the Ford’s Theater Gala in June 2019, President Trump and the First Lady led an almost minute-long standing ovation for JT and Scarlett for their work on school safety. The two can be seen photographed with the President and Melania Trump in the White House.
Also, according to JT’s official Instagram page, his grandmother made the first donation to his campaign.
2. Tony Hwang Apologized to JT for ‘Dropping the Ball’
As stated in his campaign video on Instagram, after the Sandy Hook shooting, and following his election to state Senate, JT and his mother called Tony Hwang.
JT shared a screenshot of a Facebook message from Hwang on Monday, July 15, 2019. Hwang said he was sorry “to have dropped the ball” and thanked JT “for reaching out.” He also asked the young politician for his cell phone number and email address.
JT said the little boy who only wanted someone to hear his mother’s calls for help has grown up.
“Tony actually apologized for ‘dropping the ball’ & not returning our call, but years too late,” JT wrote. “It’s time to elect someone who would have returned that call.”
3. JT Wants Jesse to be Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom
“During a meeting with the Vice President, I formally requested that my brother Jesse be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for saving 9 of his classmates in the Sandy Hook shooting,” JT wrote on May 20, 2019.
In his campaign video, JT says that on the day of the Sandy Hook shooting, the gunman entered Jesse’s classroom and began firing until the gun jammed. He said Jesse told his classmates to run while he stayed behind to protect their teacher. Nine of Jesse’s friends ran and he has been credited with saving those lives.
JT says that we all have that same innate courage inside ourselves to do something extraordinary. In honor of Jesse, JT says he will be courageous enough to run for state Senate.
On June 30, 2019, JT shared some of his favorite memories in honor of Jesse on his birthday. Included was the time Scarlett took the boys to New York City, the day they got their dog, Remington, a day they went go-karting, a day they went skiing, and a day they went boating. He also shared photos from Jesse’s funeral.
4. Jesse Has Met Both Barack Obama and Donald Trump
“I’ve had the rare opportunity to meet both Presidents, Barack Obama and Donald Trump. Two seemingly polar opposite people,” JT wrote.
He went on to share his opinions on both presidents.
JT first met President Obama in a high school classroom shortly after the Sandy Hook shooting, where he spent hours meeting with the 26 families who lost loved ones. When Scarlett showed Obama a photo of Jesse, JT remembers exactly what he said before he gave them each a hug.
“President Obama’s exact words were, ‘I can tell your boy was a hero. I’m sure you weren’t surprised to hear he saved those kids,'” JT wrote.
JT first met President Trump during the release of his Federal School Safety Report in December 2018, when they met in the Rosevelt Room at the White House to share input about the report. When Scarlett showed Trump a photo of Jesse, JT said he was clearly moved.
“Both President Trump and President Obama treated me with the utmost respect and class,” JT wrote. “More importantly, they honored my brother’s memory. A lesson: Politics only divides us if we allow it to. We are all Americans.”
5. JT Has Been on the Several Television Sets
“Just wrapped up my time working on Hawaii Five-0,” JT wrote on August 11, 2018. “Really great experience with an awesome cast and crew. Learned a lot!”
JT shared a series of photos from his time on set, including shots of the set and the filming process. Several months later he would do the same, but on a different set.
“Another amazing experience with The Big Bang Theory!” JT wrote in November 2018.
JT can be seen sitting on the couch in the famous living room with Mayim Bialik and standing at the iconic kitchen counter.