Minnesota state Rep. Larry Kraft goes viral on TikTok

By: - January 6, 2023 4:57 pm

Rep. Larry Kraft, DFL-Saint Louis Park, went viral on TikTok. Courtesy photo.

There’s a new TikTok sensation in the House: freshman Rep. Larry Kraft, DFL-Saint Louis Park.

Kraft’s video, which was published Thursday and has over 1.5 million views, features Rep. Frank Hornstein, DFL-Minneapolis, trying to teach Kraft how to use the House’s electronic voting system. It’s set to audio by comedian Bo Burnham, often used for situations when someone is a bit clueless. It’s also objectively funny — at least to this Gen Z reporter.

@larrykraftslp Thanks to my ~patient~ seatmate for showing me the ropes on my first day in the MN House! #mnleg #MinnesotaHouse #mnDFL #firstday ♬ Microwave Popcorn – Bo Burnham

A follow-up video features Kraft talking about his legislative priorities and clarifying some questions — some TikTokers unaware that Kraft is a state representative were wondering why he wasn’t stuck in the endless U.S. House Speaker vote marathon. The follow-up, posted late last night, has nearly 60,000 views.

Kraft said his millennial neighbor taught him how to use TikTok and helped him come up with the idea for the viral video.

@larrykraftslp Thanks for all the love on the last post! Post your questions or things you want to learn about MN state house! #MN #mnlegislature #mnhouse #TikTok #viral #werenewtothis ♬ original sound – Larry Kraft for MN House

Kraft wants to use TikTok to get younger voters engaged — and he’s not alone. A growing number of politicians use TikTok to reach younger voters, despite political opposition to the app’s connections to China and a TikTok ban on U.S. government phones.

More than a quarter of adults under 30 say they regularly get their news from TikTok — and while Kraft is still getting the hang of his For You page, he’s starting to get news from TikTok, too. Kraft said he was even inspired to find out more about a bill to allow voter pre-registration for 16 and 17 year olds because of a TikTok by Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon.

The lawmaker says people are welcome to ask him questions on his TikTok page.

“Engage with us! Let’s have fun with it,” Kraft said.

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Grace Deng
Grace Deng

Grace Deng is a reporting intern with the Minnesota Reformer. They're in their final year at Northwestern University, where they study journalism, legal studies and Asian American Studies. The Seattle native has previously been a statehouse intern with USA TODAY Network Ohio and an editorial fellow with Washingtonian Magazine.