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Brother of student killed in Sandy Hook school shooting to run for public office

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Image: JT Lewis, left, the brother of Sandy Hook victim Jesse Lewis, speaks
JT Lewis, left, the brother of Sandy Hook victim Jesse Lewis, speaks to President Donald Trump during a round table discussion on school safety at the White House on Dec. 18, 2018.   -   Copyright  Evan Vucci AP file
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The 19-year old brother of a Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victim announced Monday that he will run for state senate in Connecticut, challenging the current sitting incumbent who he said never returned a phone call to his mother after the mass shooting.

JT Lewis, whose younger brother Jesse was killed along with 19 other classmates and six staff members after a gunman opened fire into the Newtown, Connecticut school in 2012, kicked off his candidacy in a video on Twitter.

Lewis said that after the shooting, he and his mom called then Republican state representative Tony Hwang, "to help prevent future tragedies" but never heard back from him. Hwang went on to win a state senate seat in 2014.

"The little boy who just wanted someone to hear his mom's call for help is grown up," Lewis said in the video. Lewis also expressed frustration with elected officials who he said, "are in it for themselves, take pictures and feel an inflated sense of importance."

Lewis' brother Jesse, who was a first-grader when he was killed, has been credited with saving others after he shouted for his classmates to run while gunman, Adam Lanza, paused to reload, Jesse was shot moments later.

He had just seen his teacher shot and urged the others to flee while Lanza put a new clip into his semi-automatic rifle, his mother said back in 2013.

"I believe that inside every one of us is that same innate courage and to honour Jesse, I've decided to be courageous enough to run for state senate in my home state," Lewis said after describing his brother's last moments. "I'm entering the fray because it is only with real leadership that Connecticut will see change that it is so desperate for."

Lewis, a Republican, has been a supporter of President Donald Trump and met with him for a roundtable discussion on school security at the White House in December, according to the Hartford Courant.

The Connecticut election will take place next November.