Sandy Hook Victim’s Teenage Brother Running for State Senate

His younger brother was a hero during the Sandy Hook shooting. Now, J.T. Lewis has emerged as a unique Republican voice in the school safety debate as he runs for a seat in Connecticut's state Senate.

Brother of Sandy Hook Victim running for Senate

JT Lewis is running for Connecticut state Senate district 28. On December 14, 2012, the 19-year-old’s brother, Jesse, was killed during the Sandy Hook Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. A rising sophomore at the University of Connecticut, he is a Republican, and a fierce advocate for school security. An avid supporter of Donald Trump, Lewis has emerged as a unique voice amid the so-called mass shooting generation pushing for gun control laws. In 2015, Jesse and JT’s mother Scarlett Lewis created the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement —to promote social and emotional learning. Yet, according to JT Lewis the initiative was ignored by his current challenger Republican State Sen. Tony Hwang.

“It's a waste of time trying to make America something it isn't. So, I'm focusing on things that we can actually get done which is mental health and school safety reform. I was 12 years old during the time of the shooting, I was at the nearby middle school in lockdown, in a classroom, when it all happened. Jesse actually saved nine of his classmates, my brother, the shooter entered his classroom fired a few bullets and the gun jammed, and in that interval, Jesse yelled out for his classmates to run. He saved nine of his classmates,” JT Lewis tells Brut.

The program is now taught in all 50 states and more than 80 countries. Lewis, who met with Barack Obama in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting and met with President Trump during the release of his Federal School Safety Commission's report in 2018, is hoping to bring together both sides of the aisle. While research says there’s, no evidence hardened schools are safer, if elected, the young candidate is hoping Connecticut will lead the nation to end school shootings nationwide.