Political clubs get involved and stay involved

Political clubs get involved and stay involved

Even though most of them are not quite old enough to bubble in the name of their candidate chosen on Election Day, these kids are more politically active than most of the eligible voters in Westport.

The members of the political clubs at Staples worked side by side with the selectmen candidates throughout the recent election. Both the Young Democrats and Young Republicans were wholeheartedly invested in supporting their respective campaigns, doing everything possible to get votes for their candidates.

“We helped out in the campaign by handing out campaign water bottles, making and setting up signs all over town and even on Election Day, campaigning outside the polls,” Young Republicans president Jackie Chappo ’15 said.

Young Democrats president Dan Kaseff ’14 said that his group made hundreds of phone calls directly to voters, and, they even ventured out on the streets of Westport, campaigning in person to anyone who was willing to answer the door.

While most students were celebrating the joyous holiday of Election Day, basking in the luxury of sleep, these clubs were at the polls by 6 in the morning, supporting their candidates’ campaigns until the last ballot was counted.

On Election Day, the Republican candidates Jim Marpe and Avi Kaner won the selectmen elections over Democratic candidates Helen Garten and Melissa Kane.

Kaseff explained that, while the Young Democrats were disappointed by the loss, they understood why the Republican candidates won.

“The candidates definitely had a kind of popularity that resonated well with some Westport voters,” Kaseff said.

Young Democrats member Nora Cowherd ’15 said that she is proud of the Democratic selectmen candidates and the work the club did to help, despite the election results.

“It was disappointing, but the worst thing that can really come out of it is that our golf courses get a lot nicer,” Cowherd said.

The election may be over, but the Staples political clubs are not slowing down.

Kaseff said that the Young Democrats plan to get involved with current national issues such as gender equality, anti-discrimination laws, income inequality and campaign finance reform, along with other upcoming elections. Kaseff  specified the Himes and Malloy reelection campaigns.

Young Republicans President Ian Palmer ’15 said that the two clubs have had a few debates in the past in which they discussed controversial national issues such as gun control and healthcare.

“It’s interesting because we know it’s unlikely that anyone will actually convince another person to change their views, but we get to hear the other side of the story and further develop our own opinions,” Palmer said.