Legislative intern is North Carolina's first with Down syndrome

Legislative intern is North Carolina's first with Down syndrome

RALEIGH, N.C. — A new North Carolina House intern, the first with Down syndrome, is already bringing smiles to the General Assembly hallways.

Wednesday was Paul Kocher's second day on the job. He works with Mecklenburg County Rep. John Bradford.

Kocher is the first legislative intern with Down syndrome, a developmental and intellectual genetic disorder.

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Bradford showed Kocher around on his first day and showed him how to help seal letters, among other duties.

“We're going to go through the whole legislative process,” said Bradford. “We're going to go through bill drafting. He'll go into committee with me, and my goal is to have him go wherever I go.”

Bradford hand-selected the Wake Tech student for the prestigious, paid position, and said he believes people with special needs deserve the same opportunities as anyone else.

As for Kocher, he said he already likes Bradford.

"He's a nice guy," Kocher said with a smile.

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