Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump is 70. Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton is 68 years old.
And regardless of whether the Nov. 8 general election marks a high point for the aging Baby Boom generation, Bakersfield Business Conference attendees said younger candidates are already making their presence known — and 2020 might bring a very different presidential contest.
Developer Bob Bell, who is chairman of the Downtown Bakersfield Development Corp., said he wasn't sure what 2020 will bring, but he welcomes knowledgable younger candidates.
“I’m not against young folks with knowledge,” Bell said, finding a generational shift in the current Ward 2 Bakersfield City Council contest pitting 34-year-old challenger Andrae Gonzales, a school board trustee, against incumbent Terry Maxwell and challenger Kevin Blanton. Maxwell and Blanton are each roughly a generation older than Gonzales.
“That guy has worked hard to understand his parents’ generation,” Bell said of Gonzales. “I don’t mind seeing a generational change. Not a bad idea.”
Mom Sara Ortiz, who visited the conference with husband Abdiel Ortiz and son Caleb, who is one and a half years old, pointed out a younger generation is coming of age regardless, as shown when Democratic hopeful Bernie Sanders threw his support to Clinton.
“I think when Bernie got voted out, I think about many of the younger generation. They felt bad about that. I wouldn’t be surprised if in four to eight years, we had an Independent Party president,” said Sara Ortiz, 30, who like her husband is a registered Independent.
Pausing for an ice cream and pumpkin spice latte break with wife Ana, Ron Johns said he hadn’t given the issue much thought — a symptom of the rollercoaster presidential contest.
“We’re just trying to get over why we have to vote for anybody this year. I don’t see the divide in the country coming together in any way after the elections, much like the divide in Congress,” Ron Johns said.