It was while interning this past summer in Will Brownsberger's state representative office that college student Robert Paul Reardon Jr. began entertaining the idea of running for political office.
"I had the opportunity to see the positive effects you can have for people as an elected official," said Reardon, who prefers to go by Bobby.
And when Brownsberger won a special election to the state Senate in January, the Van Ness Road resident decided that he wanted to perform the same work for the community.
In the past week, Reardon has taken out nomination papers and submitting them to town officials in Belmont, Cambridge and Arlington for a run to replace Brownsberger as state representative in the 24th Middlesex District.
While the state's House of Representatives has yet to officially announce a date, it is anticipated that residents will vote in party primaries in the first week in September.
So far, Reardon, who is running as a Democrat, is the first candidate to submit signatures seeking to succeed Brownsberger.
Reardon, a senior at Bentley University in Waltham majoring in business management with a minor in law, is all of 22 – he is a 2008 graduate of Belmont High School – but doesn't believe his age will hamper his ability to both be elected or serve in the legislature.
"Sure, I'm young and people will comment on that, but there is a growing number of young people being elected because of their dedication to public service rather than their age," Reardon said, pointing to Alex Morse, elected mayor of Holyoke, Mass. a year after graduating from Brown, and Arlington state rep. Sean Garballey who was elected to Beacon Hill while attending UMass Lowell.
Reardon, the son of Robert Reardon, the chairman of the Board of Assessors, and himself a Town Meeting member in Precinct 6, said the environment, economy, education and ethics will be major themes in his campaign.
"These issues are important to each resident in the district and I am ready to explain to voters why I am the best person to represent their concerns in the House (of Representatives)," said Reardon.
For more information on Reardon's campaign, he has created a website detailing his run for state representative.