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8-Year-Old Md. Girl Sworn In As ‘Governor For The Day’

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Genea Harrison
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Monique Griego joined the WJZ News Team in July 2011 as a General...
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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)— It’s a tough job but someone’s got to do it. Tuesday, an eight-year-old from Prince George’s County took over as governor of Maryland.

Monique Griego has more on her first day on the job.

Running the state of Maryland is a big responsibility but nothing seems too big a challenge for eight-year-old Genea Harrison.

After winning an essay contest, the soon-to-be fourth grader from Rosa L. Parks Elementary in Prince George’s County got to take over the governor’s job for a day.

“Martin O’Malley told me it takes a lot of responsibility,” Harrison said.

Governor O’Malley created the essay contest to encourage young girls to pursue careers in public service.

“It is the responsibility of leaders in this room to nurture the dreams and confidence of young women like Genea,” O’Malley said.

Governor Harrison’s first official duty was fielding questions from the media. After that, a closed door meeting with the Taiwan ambassador and from there, it was off to women’s caucus and then a meeting with her speechwriters.

“The schedule is like bouncing around. Like, first we go here, then we go downstairs, then we go down here and then upstairs. It’s just everywhere,” she said.

The mini-governor’s entourage included school leaders and her mom.

“I thought she was going to be shy and everything, but no, she was right on top of everything,” said her mom, Angie Runyon.

“There’s no telling where she’s going to go from this experience,” said school counselor Victor Butler.

Harrison’s biggest challenge of the day was addressing environmental issues in front of a crowd of science teachers—another duty she fulfilled with ease.

If Genea doesn’t become governor one day, she wants to be a science teacher.

This is the first year for the governor’s essay contest. More than 200 girls under 13 competed.

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