PROVO, Utah (ABC4) — Tanner Bennett, 24, is running for Provo City Council on a $0 campaign for what he calls the “Silent 50%.”

The “Silent 50%,” he said, is the demographic of 18-30-year-olds that do not typically show up for local elections but that make up 50% of Provo’s population. Because he is a member of that demographic, he said he wanted representation and felt uniquely qualified for the position.

“I’m not your typical 24-25 year old,” he said.

Bennett, a full-time student and soon-to-be full-time dad, reportedly decided to run for city council after his sister-in-law jokingly suggested it, as they had heard the candidate filing period was closing. He said that joke turned into reality.

“As I thought about it more I said ‘How could I do this? I can’t do this, there’s no way, I don’t have any time,’ but then this plan of running for office on a $0 campaign, utilizing the channels of social media and really running to represent the people in my age demographic it just — it was too good,” he said. “I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.”

Bennett feels that the Provo City Council needs to do a better job of listening to students, renters, and people in Provo who will only live there for a few years. Those people make up a large percentage of Provo and need more representation, he said.

Bennett said current city councilors do not care about students, that they say students do not vote, do not turn out for local elections, and are not “real residents.” In response, Bennett called that mindset “deplorable.”

“I think that we as students and young people 18-30 years old deserve to have a voice in our government,” he said.

Bennett said he has a unique ability to connect with all age groups and demographics — that the younger generation has more in common with the older generation than people might think.

“Our commonalities are greatly benefitted by a diversity of thought,” he said.

According to Bennett, the younger generation needs the experience and knowledge the older generations have to offer, but the older generations need the nimbleness and understanding of technology, modern issues, and life experience of the younger generations.

He said that if those two elements could be combined, Provo could improve significantly.

“It’s a mistake to ignore this population,” he said.