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SMC student reflects on role as state delegate

| Friday, February 3, 2017

Saint Mary’s junior Anna McCambridge proves college students can make a difference in politics.

In August, the business major ran for and won the role of precinct delegate during the Michigan state primaries. Later, at a county convention, she was elected state delegate.

McCambridge represents the Republican Party for Kent County, which encompasses her hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

After spontaneously attending a state convention as a guest along with a few friends, McCambridge said she felt inspired to run. She said she’s always been interested in politics, especially after coming to college; seeing other college students getting involved inspired her.

“I saw what kind of impact I could have, despite my age,” McCambridge said.

McCambridge attended her first state convention as an elected official in August.

“The governor — as well as other Michigan state officials — attended and gave powerful remarks about how important it is to have representation even at such a local level,” she said. “It was pretty cool. As a delegate, I’m an elected official just as many other big name individuals are, so it’s not uncommon to be waiting in line for the ladies room with a senator in front of you and the governor’s wife behind you.”

Recently, McCambridge traveled home for a county convention.

“Myself and other Kent County delegates met in downtown Grand Rapids,” she said. “We listened to speeches from candidates running for local and party offices.

“They travel to different county conventions to campaign and, later, state delegates from each Michigan county, including myself, will meet at the state convention to vote on them.”

McCambridge has already voted for many leadership positions, including the Michigan Board of Education.

“These are the people that will make a difference in our children’s education,” she said. “The people on the Board of Education are going to be passing laws that will affect the next generation, which will probably include my own future children.”

Getting involved at the local level is one of the best things concerned citizens can do, McCambridge said.

“While everyone’s focusing on the federal government, nobody’s focusing on the government here at home,” she said. “But it’s these smaller decisions that will affect us the most. That’s why I find it important to get involved in the local level as much as possible. That’s where you have to start to create real and effective change at the federal level.”

McCambridge said she believes it’s important for women to get involved in politics.

“Some say politics is a man’s world, but I kind of disagree,” she said. “Women just don’t get as much coverage [in the media], but we’re making progress.”

In the future, McCambridge said she hopes to continue participating in the political process.

“Now that I know how campaigns are run, I can definitely see myself running for office again,” she said. “We, as women, need to not be afraid of losing. Losing is part of life.”

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