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8-Year-Old Girl Wins Essay Contest To Shadow As Governor For A Day

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PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — If you had one day to be the governor of Maryland, would you take the job?

One fourth-grader from Prince George’s County says yes.

As Gigi Barnett reports–she’s part of the governor’s program to get more girls thinking about the future.

Eight-year-old Genea Harrison says she knows what Maryland needs. So next week, she’s taking her concerns to the State House.

“I’m going to talk with the governor,” she said.

And boy, does she have a lot to tell him.

The fourth-grader won Governor O’Malley’s essay contest to become governor for a day. Only girls could apply because O’Malley says he created the contest to let girls know that they can become anything.

“My mom told me there was no girl governor or president and I thought I could make a change that there can be a first governor and that could be me,” Genea said.

She already has big ideas for Annapolis. On education, she’s pushing for smaller class sizes.

“So all the kids can pay attention to their teacher and not get into trouble,” she said.

Genea also has a message for the governor from her friend, who’s teen brother recently died in a car accident.

“She said, ‘can you tell the governor to try to fix the road where he died at,'” Genea said.

Genea’s mom, Angie Runyan, and mostly everyone is excited about the trip to Annapolis–except her five-year-old brother, Marley.

“He’s so funny. He’s like, ‘you’re not the governor. You’re not in charge of me.’ I’m sure deep down inside he’s really happy for her,” Runyan said.

Now the big question for this self-described fashionista: what to wear to the State House?

“Blue pants, a white sweater and a red shirt. Because it’s about to be the month of Fourth of July,” she said.

Genea beat out more than 200 other girls around the state to become governor for a day. She heads to Annapolis on Tuesday.

Genea will be by the governor’s side the entire day. She’ll also tour the State House and meet other lawmakers.

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