TAMPA, Fla. — Meet the two youngest members of the delegation from Massachusetts.
Evan Kenney, 18, just barely beats out Caroline Shinkle, 19, for the honors.
The paths that the two teenagers took to wind up here in Tampa as delegates for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney could hardly be more different.
Shinkle is a lifelong Republican. A sophomore at the Sloan School of Management, studying economics and finance, she is president of the MIT Republican Club.
Kenney showed up for breakfast on Monday morning in jeans and A Tribe Called Quest T-shirt, amid a sea of suits. Fresh out of high school, he says he was turned on to conservative politics by a teacher, and came to the Republican Party through his support for Ron Paul in the primary election. He is now an enthusiastic supporter of Romney, and is happy to hear the candidate talking more about the need for accountability from the Federal Reserve.
But both delegates agree that they have a special duty here because of their age.
“I think my role here is to show that young people are invited to join the Republican Party,” Kenney said. “Spread the values in the Republican oath to the young people who think they have to register Democrat, when they don’t. The Republican Party is the party of the youth.”
Shinkle says she feels an obligation to talk to young people about why she believes Romney is the right person to lead the country forward. “As a young person, and I think I speak for a lot of young people, when we graduate from college, we want opportunity and we want jobs,” she says. “Mitt Romney is the only candidate who can make that happen.”