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Leadership Hits the Campaign Trail

Leadership Campaign Trail Slider
Sophomore Nick Hunt ('17) meets presidential candidate Jeb Bush at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference.

During this year's midterm election, Leadership students once again brought to life Princeton Review ranking AU as the nation's most politically active campus.  From local to national races, Leadership students ventured away from AU's campus to gain valuable insights into the intricacies of running a political campaign.

Seniors Tripp Frank and Harry Weiss both took the fall semester off from studying at American in order to gain first-hand campaign experience.  Frank spent the past five months at the Clinton County Democratic Party Headquarters in Iowa working on key congressional races.  Weiss worked tirelessly on the campaign trail in an attempt to elect Aimee Belgard to represent New Jersey's 3rd congressional district in the House of Representatives.

Anthony Torres, a junior and former Vice President of AU Democrats, believes he and his fellow Leadership students are in a unique position to encourage others to effect social change through voting.  "Members on Capitol Hill won't listen to the challenges facing the next generation until they make their voice loud enough at the ballot box."

Leading up to the midterm election, Leadership students traveled to Kentucky, Virginia and North Carolina in order to rally the vote around key House and Senate races.

Shortly after joining the Leadership program, first-year Isaiah Beaton began interning with Virginia congressional candidate John Foust's campaign.  Beaton laid the groundwork for his classmates to get out the vote for candidate Foust on election day.

First-years Johanna Butler, Quinn Dunlea, Nick Guthman, Natalie Hedden, Bridget Anshus, Kiah Morrison, and Henry Watson went to Virginia's 10th congressional district to get out the vote on behalf of Foust and senatorial candidate Mark Warner.

Even though only Warner won, Butler found the experience to be incredibly rewarding: "I enjoyed seeing the momentum and power of a grassroots effort and the way the entire community of VA-10 was getting involved with the election."

Sophomore and AU's College Republican's President Nick Hunt believes political campaigns are an ideal opportunity for leadership lessons to transcend classroom walls.  Hunt urges, "all members to engage in campaigns as students gain a unique perspective on policy formation, fundraising, the influence of special interest groups, but chiefly, students learn that an ordinary human being supported by a strong team, has the ability to enact nationwide change."