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UA student John Dalton elected Pima County Republicans treasurer

Courtesy Katya Belikov

John Dalton, the new treasurer for the Pima County Republican Party. Dalton is a political science junior at the UA.

John Dalton always works with one motto in mind: “Let’s see what we can do to fix it.” 

Dalton, a UA political science junior, was elected the new treasurer of the Pima County Republican Party. 

Dalton is a supporter of political activism but he wanted to go beyond. So he decided to go down the road he is on today—one that he hopes will eventually help Pima County citizens increase their grip on local politics.

“It’s a great way to positively impact the lives of a lot of people directly, and also to be able to directly make a change in policy or any other subject that might be of interest to people or myself,” Dalton said.

He says that includes UA students. He knows it can be challenging but he encourages other students to get involved.

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“Do not let things hold you back from getting involved,” he said. “It might seem like a competitive environment being in politics, especially at a young age but at the same time you are at an advantage because you are younger and you have new ideas that can be brought into a system that has existed for a very long time.”

Dalton is determined to be proactive when he hears people express disapproval toward government policy. He’s a person who wants to facilitate change when the public feels it is warranted.

Born in Tucson and raised in Livonia, Michigan, Dalton decided to come back to the Grand Canyon State to attend the UA. He wanted to become involved in local politics and achieved his goal but he did not get to where he is today overnight.

“I started figuring out how the political system works in Arizona,” Dalton said. “I started going to meetings at the legislative district level. People got to know who I am. There was a vacancy for treasurer of the legislative district. After the three-month term ended I was asked to run for Pima County Republican Party treasurer.”

For Dalton, the rest is history. He admits that he may have been in a better position to take a prominent political role in college than other students due to his prior experiences in Michigan where Dalton was the Republican nominee for Wayne County Executive among other positions.

“It can be difficult coming in from another state.” Dalton said. “It usually takes a lot of time for trust to be built, but young people are not super involved in politics here.” 

Dalton said he is appreciative of the respect that veteran politicians are showing him.

“Being a young person in the party it showed that a lot of people trusted me and had confidence in me,” Dalton said. “They believed that I could do the position. They trusted me with a lot of responsibility. That means a lot in politics.”

Dalton has always been interested in politics but his passion reached its highest level in his late teens when he first advocated for a political candidate.

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“It all started in middle school when I volunteered for President Bush’s reelection campaign in 2004,” he said. “I started talking to people and was being social.”

He says that being fluent in Spanish is something that increases his reach to the public.

“It helps me communicate and get the message of the Republican Party across to those in the Hispanic and Latino groups directly,” Dalton said. “I have done interviews at Telemundo and have done speeches at political events.”

As for his role with Pima County Republicans, Chair David Eppihimersays has been pleased with Dalton’s performance.

“I am very happy,” he said. “He has great experience. We are very happy that he is able to transfer those skills and energy to Pima County.”

Eppihimer seems to appreciate Dalton’s passion at such a young age.

Without him, Eppihimer said the Pima County Republican Party “would be missing a vital link to youth and a link to the University of Arizona.”

Students are encouraged to contact  the committee of their party affiliate to get involved in local politics. Dalton is already helping to bring young people into the new political environment.

“We need those fresh ideas,” he said. “We are going to be the leaders of the future. Why not start now, paving the way for our generation to have a voice.”

Follow Phil Bramwell on Twitter.

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