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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Meet the new president of UA’s Young Republicans

Ashlee Bierworth, a junior studying political science and law, is the newly elected president of University of Arizona College Republicans. Her current position reflects an active career in campus government and representation.

During her freshman year, she interned at Associated Students of the University of Arizona’s policy department and was involved in statewide political campaigns through College Republicans. During her sophomore year, she worked as the policy associate director for ASUA’s policy department, where she helped organize awareness campaigns for sexual assault on campus. She also served as the communications director for College Republicans.

After she was elected president, Bierworth decided to devote herself primarily towards managing the UA College Republican chapter. A major goal of hers this year is to broaden the internship and job opportunities that are already offered through the group.

“Our main purpose as College Republicans is to get kids involved in campaigns, internships and jobs being offered at the state and local level,” Bierworth said.

Emily Clayton, a communications junior who was elected as the treasurer of College Republicans last year, said one major opportunity for students is the annual trip to the Conservative Political Action Conference, which is a large political conference between Republican Party activists and leaders.

“Every year, we work to fund raise to get as many students there as possible—usually 10 to 15 every year for very cheap expenses,” she said.

Another major avenue to internship opportunities is a weekly speaking engagement hosted by College Republicans. Organizing these engagements is one of Bierworth’s main responsibilities as president, and she said it’s how she plans to broaden opportunities for members.

“We have meetings every Thursday with different speakers and organizers from the Tucson area and all across Arizona,” Bierworth said, describing local legislators that offer job advice and openings to prospective students.

Bierworth’s plan is to select more speakers that have career backgrounds in outside politics, specifically in local business. Along with broadening job opportunities, she said she hopes that this will highlight the key political connection between conservatives as a political group with small businesses.

“When you just have local senators or legislators for every week, it can get a little mundane,” Clayton said.

Bierworth’s emphasis on this political link between Republicans and small businesses leads into her next major responsibility, which is recruitment and fundraising for local, state and nationwide campaigns. Along with offering students internship opportunities, a major goal of College Republicans is to increase political involvement on campus and throughout the state.

“We can only support candidates in general elections, not primaries,” Bierworth said. “One good recent example is U.S. Congresswoman Martha McSally’s 2014 campaign. Through things like door-to-door campaigning and phone-banking, a lot of members at College Republicans actively participated in getting her elected.”

Apart from helping specific candidates get elected, Bierworth said she also has a broader political goal to enhance the image of young Republicans on college campuses. She said she wants to combat the negative image of Republicans as a monolithic, homogenous unit that lacks diversity on important social issues.

“I’d like more people to know that not all Republicans think exactly the same,” Bierworth said.

Clayton, who also wants to stress the diversity of Republicans to prospective party members, echoed her view.

“A lot of people think we’re just the party of old white men,” Clayton said. “But we have many people of different [backgrounds], genders and ages in the party.”

Bierworth said she hopes that, through a more focused message on those two issues, she can reach more prospective members for College Republicans.

“The most important part of being Republican is an emphasis on free markets and limited government,” Bierworth said.


Follow Isaac Rouseville on Twitter.


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