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Candidate addresses College Republicans in opening social

Published: Thursday, August 30, 2012

Updated: Thursday, August 30, 2012 14:08

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COLLEGE REPUBLICANS PRESIDENT Casey Saxton speaks at the club’s opening social Wednesday night in the Merrill-Cazier Library. CURTIS RIPPLINGER photo

                While the Republican National  Convention continues in Florida this week, USU’s College Republicans held their first formal event of the school year on Wednesday night. Casey Saxton, the chapter president, addressed the crowd encouraging the students to get involved.

    Saxton said he believes the club is off to a strong start with more than 100 new members since May, as well as a new constitution written over the summer. The revision includes several new leadership positions including executive vice president, coordinating vice president, activities director and public relations director. The executive vice president will preside over activism and fundraising and the coordinating vice president will preside over fundraising and events, Saxton said.

    “It is my goal for the College Republicans to be very visible here on campus,” he said.

    Ed Redd, a candidate for the Utah House of Representatives, spoke at the event and called for students’ help in the political process.

    “We have to be part of the solution, not the problem,” Redd said.

    He told students there are opportunities to serve as long as they are willing to get involved.

    “I hope you get involved in this political process and don’t take it for granted,” he said.

    Amber Johnson, the field director for Mitt Romney’s Logan office, also spoke and told students about internship credit available for office volunteers throughout the election. Johnson said it’s a unique opportunity to have a campaign headquarters in Logan.

    “Logan was selected because of Utah State,” Johnson said.

    A number of local public figures were in attendance at the social. Utah representative David Butterfield was recognized his support to the club. The Cache County Republicans are also supportive of the club, Saxton said.

    “As far as volunteering, we can take all the help we can get,” said Boyd Pugmire, the chairman of the Cache County Republican Party. Pugmire said he believes being involved is essential to being committed to the country.

    “You really can’t blame the Democrats, you really can’t blame the Republicans,” he said. “What you can blame are each of us at home.”
    McKenzie Thompson, a sophomore, was one of the students in attendance. Thompson said the meeting encouraged her to become more politically involved.

    “It sounded pretty cool, the things that we could get involved in…It motivated me to go out and actually do something,” she said.

    Hayley Johnson, a sophomore majoring in plant studies, said she also enjoyed the meeting.

    “My parents are pretty politically active so I’ve always grown up knowing about what different activities are going on,” she said. “ I wanted to continue that legacy.”
    Saxton said the College Republicans have several committees providing additional leadership opportunities. He said students can participate in events such as a 9/11 memorial or Pizza and Politics, a lecture series that has previously included speakers such as Governor Gary Herbert, Senator Orrin Hatch and Congressman Rob Bishop. He said he anticipates College Republicans will be helping out local candidates with the approaching election.

    “I want you to be as active as I am…We’re going to have a fantastic year, but it has to be shown through our efforts,” he said. “This isn’t my club, it isn’t someone else’s club. It’s our club.” 

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