The candidates tried to put their best foot forward as they explained why they should sweep the GOP nomination or be the Democratic candidate. Democratic candidate? Isn’t that already decided?
Not in this election. Sponsored by Kids Voting USA, this first-ever party convention was held in Wausau, Wisconsin. IT includes 21 area schools, each of which took on the role of a different state, and more than 250 high school delegates. They put on a mock political convention for each party.
As Ricky Taylor, a Republican presidential candidate from Merrill said,
“I’m definitely going to talk, go around, see people’s opinions, where they lie already, and I’m going to try to seek and obtain the nomination.”
Some actual political leaders came to show their support for the event as well. Stephan Thompson, Executive Director of the Republican Party of Wisconsin told the GOP delegates that,
“You’re ready and willing to lead the next group of Republicans to take control of your future. It’s activities like this that set you apart from your peers.”
Mike Tate, Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, also encouraged the kids, saying,
“All too often we have a very cynical nature about politics, but I really do believe it’s true that any one person (here) could go on and work for a campaign, could go on and run for office, and could end up making serious, progressive change. I think that’s something that’s not told to them enough.”
Kids Voting USA organized the event, getting students involved in becoming educated, engaged citizens. They help students to learn about democracy by actually creating authentic voting experiences, rather than just learning about it in the classroom.
This event certainly went over well, with two Merrill candidates, Madelaine Deveau and Ricky Taylor, winning their party’s presidential nominations.