Legislative Aide With Down Syndrome Makes His Debut

Mondays can sometimes be the worst.

But, not this Monday! 

Allow us to introduce you to Paul Kocher.

Paul is the first legislative intern in North Carolina with Down syndrome, a developmental and intellectual genetic disorder. 

Images and video courtesy of ABC11.

Paul's new boss is Rep. John Bradford (R), the House Majority Freshman Whip.

Paul Kocher greets his new boss, Rep. John Bradford.
Here's more from the ABC 11 news report:

Bradford hand-selected the Wake Tech student for the prestigious, paid position.

Kocher's father, Kevin, touted his son's accomplishments.

"He works at Bojangles on the weekend. He has voice lessons. He works out for Special Olympics. We commonly joke in the family, if we look at the resumes of all our kids, Paul stacks up pretty good," he said with a laugh.

Kocher now has one more credential to add to his resume - honorary page.


The title gives him rare access to the floor of the House chamber and an up-close view of the voting process.

"He'll sit a couple seats behind me, and we've already made it clear thumbs up is green, thumbs down is red, so he'll help me out," Bradford smiled.

Kocher promptly began his duties Wednesday, helping his new boss address letters to constituents and stamping the envelopes with wax seals.

Rep. Bradford sums it up best with his quote:

"We believe people with special needs should have the same opportunities as everyone else. We're excited to have him here, and we're going to put him to work," Bradford said.

Now go forth and have a great Monday! 

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