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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    2 freshmen run for political office

    Two UA freshmen are juggling their own campaigns for political office this semester while being full-time students, but they said they want to inspire other students to take an interest in politics.

    Christopher T. Campas, a history freshman, and Steven Wheelwright, a math and computer science freshman, said they want young adults to realize the impact they can have on government by participating on whatever level they can.

    “”It’s amazing how much people will listen,”” Campas said. “”Older people will give credibility to those who are willing to speak up.””

    Campas is attending night classes at the UA and UA South this semester while he runs for a position on the Sierra Vista City Council for one of the three open seats.

    As of yesterday afternoon, Campas was 17

    I can’t believe seeing a sign with a name on it would
    generate a vote.

    – Steven Wheelwright,
    freshman studying math and computer science

    votes behind the three incumbents. The final vote totals must be tallied by Tuesday, but a recount is expected, Campas said.

    Sierra Vista is known for being a retirement community, especially for those leaving positions at Fort Huachuca. The town is building up a larger number of families with young children.

    Campas said he is campaigning to create a voice for this next generation. The Sierra Vista native is running on a platform that focuses on youth development, long-term planning and creating a community that works with all ages, Campas said.

    The young democrat started his campaign in February with the encouragement of U.S. Rep. Jim Kolbe, a Republican. Campas said he considers Kolbe to be a good friend.

    Wheelwright is taking 18 units of classes this semester and only recently began running for elected office at the age of 18.

    The Canyon Del Oro High School graduate was looking for ways to participate in the Libertarian Party when party members suggested him to run for Pima County Superior Courts clerk.

    Money for campaigning is limited, but being on the ballot is more important to him and the Libertarian Party, Wheelwright said.

    “”Most (voters) don’t care about the county clerk position,”” Wheelwright said. “”If they’re a Republican and they see an ‘R,’ they check that. Basically it’s a party vote.””

    Wheelwright said students should not be afraid to participate in politics.

    “”Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty,”” he said, quoting Thomas Jefferson.

    The libertarian said he encourages everyone to put effort into investigating candidates and propositions.

    “”I can’t believe seeing a sign with a name on it would generate a vote,”” Wheelwright said.

    Both Campas and Wheelwright said they were interested in politics early in life.

    Wheelwright said he enjoyed sparking debates in his high school U.S. government course. During his senior year, he started reading more about the libertarian party and found that he agreed with its platform.

    “”My parents tried to indoctrinate me from an early age,”” Wheelwright said.

    Today, Wheelwright is teaching his father about his view on politics and is trying to encourage other people to get involved.

    Wheelwright’s father thinks his son will run for president someday, Wheelwright said, but the freshman is still looking toward a job in cryptography with the National Security Agency.

    Campas said he became concerned with political thought and community service when he was he was 14 years old.

    In April, Campas received the Governor’s Volunteer Service Award, and he plans to join the Peace Corps at some point in his future, Campas said.

    Campas believes he would be an asset to the city council because he was raised in Sierra Vista and is a product of the community and school system.

    The two young candidates said they hope to send a message of political action to other young adults, even if they are not successful in being elected to positions.

    “”We should realize what an impact we can make if we put ourselves out there,”” Campas said.

    Wheelwright said he enjoyed sparking debates in his high school U.S. government course. During his senior year, he started reading more about the libertarian party and found that he agreed with its
    platform.

    “”My parents tried to indoctrinate me from an early age,”” Wheelwright said.

    Today, Wheelwright is teaching his father about his view on politics and is trying to encourage other people to get involved.

    Wheelwright’s father thinks his son will run for president someday, Wheelwright said, but the freshman is still looking toward a job in cryptography with the National Security Agency.

    Campas said he became concerned with political thought and community service when he was he was 14 years old.

    In April, Campas received the Governor’s Volunteer Service Award, and he plans on joining the Peace Corps at some point in his future, Campas said.

    Campas believes he would be an asset to the city council because he was raised in Sierra Vista and is a product of the community and school system.

    The two young candidates said they hope to send a message of political action to other young adults, even if they are not successful in being elected to positions.

    “”We should realize what an impact we can make if we put ourselves out there,”” Campas said.

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