'Old school' Winchester teen seeks seat on city council

Candidate Kevin Carreno (Photo: WTHR)

WINCHESTER, Ind. (WTHR) - He may be young, but he works full time, owns rental properties and now is running for elective office.

And he hasn't even graduated from high school yet.

We all are busy, but 19-year-old Kevin Carreno might be busier than most. This high school senior is running for a seat on the Winchester City Council.

He already owns five rental properties in town and now he wants to do more.

"Pleasure to meet you," he said as he walked into a downtown restaurant.

"Good luck on the campaign," responded the woman behind the counter. "I've heard really good things about you."

Interestingly enough, he will tell you he is not part of the generational change currently going on in Washington.

"I am old school - JFK and FDR type of guy," he said.

He certainly has big plans for the west side district he hopes to represent and the entire town.

"Where the high school is located, in my opinion, is the part of town that needs to be improved the most," he said during a walk downtown.

"Youngest candidate in the State of Indiana?" Winchester Mayor Shon Byrum inquired.

"Yes I am," Carreno answered.

The mayor said Carreno inspires him.

"To see Kevin come up and want to do public service inspires me and gives me hope that the younger generation is stepping up," said Byrum.

He is not alone. That became obvious when he encountered a former teacher.

"I'm proud of you," she said as he entered the door of her workplace. "You look handsome today, too."

"Thank you. I learned from the best," he said.

We asked Randolph County Democratic Party Chair Fred Davis if Carreno just walked up to him and said, "I'm running."

"No, he went to the courthouse and filed," Davis said.

"What I propose is we start a Winchester-area career center and that will focus on carpentry, electricians and plumbing. Jobs that cannot be automated in the next ten years," Carreno said.

We asked Carreno if he thought he would be able to do this job and go to college at the same time.

"Yes, I am," he said, going on to explain that he plans to stay in Winchester even while attending college. He said it would require a very special skill.

"A lot of time management skills," he said.

The primary is May 7, but first things first: It's back to school. Graduation is in June.

Carreno is unopposed in the primary, but will be trying to unseat a Republican opponent in the fall.

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