Breckinridge's political journey began early and lasted all his life. At the age of 20 he was elected into office as representative of Botetourt County in the Virginia House of Delegates. However, he was technically not old enough to serve and was often refused a seat. Eventually Breckinridge became old enough to not receive any hassle about the positions he was qualified for.
During his time serving as a representative he attended the College of William and Mary and studied law. He later held the position of Kentucky Attorney General and then moved quickly through offices to the Kentucky House of Representatives, Speaker of the House of the Kentucky House of Representatives, U.S. Senator from Kentucky, and finally the U.S. Attorney General. Breckinridge was favored to be vice president during Thomas Jefferson's term, but Jefferson appointed him as attorney general instead. Unfortunately, Breckenridge died from tuberculosis at age 46 before he could further his career.