91-year-old Sen. Risser, 19-year-old Rep. Haywood: Age is just a number

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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV)--- The oldest and the youngest lawmakers at the State Capitol are 72 years apart, but they have much more in common than you may think.

The oldest lawmaker at the Wisconsin State Capitol is Senator Fred Risser. He is 91-years-old. He’s served as a lawmaker for more than sixty years. He was born in 1927 and graduated high school in 1945. Shortly after, he joined the U.S. Navy. He is the only World War II veteran serving in the state legislature.

The youngest lawmaker at the State Capitol is 19-year-old State Representative Kalan Haywood. He graduated from high school in 2017 and is currently going to school while serving in the state legislature.

"My age allows for the young voice to be heard and at the table, but also it gets young people engaged,” Rep. Haywood said.

"We're both legislatures and so we have a lot in common,” Sen. Risser said.

There is a lot that makes the two different. For example, their social media presence. Rep. Haywood is an avid social media user, while Sen. Risser lets his staff handle his online presence.

"I hand that over to my staff. I'm at the age where I'm not twitter experienced."

When Risser was Haywood’s age, couples would meet up at dances. Now, Haywood said, most people meet through social media.

Both of them say, to them, age is just a number.

“There’s different ages. There’s the physical age, there’s the age of maturity,” Risser said. “So age is different in different people.”

“I always say my age is my biggest asset. It’s very important that when we’re doing legislation and making laws that everyone is at the table,” Haywood said.

Despite their age difference, the two have built a friendship and say they look forward to serving Wisconsin together.

“The world is evolving, society is evolving, we have to realize that everything we do today is going to affect us tomorrow, but the sun will come up,” Haywood said.

Sen. Risser has served in the Wisconsin State Legislature for more than 60 years, making him the longest serving lawmaker in U.S, history.

Rep. Haywood is one of the youngest lawmakers in the U.S.