Emmanuel Ferguson is the youngest candidate seeking the state Senate District 42 seat formerly held by Robert Ford — and he began thinking about politics at a young age.

Emmanuel Ferguson

Age: 28

Family: Single.

Education: College of Charleston; Trident Technical College; Charleston School of Law.

Occupation: Assistant solicitor.

Previous elective office: None

Why I’m running: “The people in this district made me who I am today. I can’t pay them back, so I must pay it forward.”

More than anything, Senate District 42 needs: “Someone who understands the people who live here. They need someone who can relate to them, their needs, and has the skill set to address those needs.”

Contact information: 843-737-2828; 864-617-5933 (manager); www.emmanuelferguson.com; FergusonForSenate @gmail.com

Ferguson, a lawyer with the 9th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, said he began thinking about politics and community service in high school.

“I’ve very little political experience, and I’m proud of that,” he said. “I think what this area needs is a fresh, local choice.”

Ferguson is one of six Democrats on the Aug. 13 ballot. The other candidates are Herbert S. Fielding, Marlon Kimpson, Margaret Rush, Bob Thompson and Maurice Washington. An Aug. 27 runoff is likely.

While Ferguson has not run for office before — or been active with a local party or campaign — he has been busy working and getting his law degree. One of six children, Ferguson grew up in Charleston and worked his way through college and law school. He also taught as a substitute at James Simons Elementary School and taught at Military Magnet Academy in North Charleston.

“My biggest accomplishment to date is being Emmanuel Ferguson,” he said. “I came from nothing. My father couldn’t afford to send us to college, so I started working in high school and saving up for college. I worked in college and I worked while I was in law school. That really wasn’t easy at all.”

Ferguson said he is interested in requiring electronic serial numbers on guns — so they cannot be filed off — though such a change might have to be made at the federal level, not the state level.

He said he also wants to ensure education dollars are spent effectively.

“I’m the only candidate who has been a teacher and who is a lawyer,” he said. “I can start on Day 1 working with schools and with the community and with legislators to effectuate meaningful legislation in these areas.”

Ferguson said the race will determine who will usher in Charleston’s future.

“Is it going to be someone with the same ideas or with the same political agenda? Or is it going to be a new person with fresh ideas and a new political agenda?” he asked. “I don’t owe favors to anyone who has scratched my back in the past.”

Reach Robert Behre at 937-5771.