Campaign manager and alumnus Ashley Young is doing everything he can during the week before the general election to promote Republicans Robert Hardwick and Nate Walker for their respective offices.
Young, who ran a winning campaign for Zachary Wyatt during 2010, said as campaign manager he is responsible for managing committees, advertising through print and radio, and organizing rallies and fundraisers. He said he has been interested in politics since he was a child, and this led him to become a campaign manager.
“Politics affects all of us,” Young said. “When you say, “Are you interested in politics? What it really boils down to is that you’re simply interested in the future of our country and that’s something I hope everyone would be interested in,” Young said.
He said he works as campaign manager in addition to working a full-time job as the director of communications at Complete Family Medicine in Kirksville. He said he also is involved with Kirksville Regional Economic Development Inc., Kirksville Area Habitat for Humanity and is the Kirksville Kiwanis Club president. He said it’s often challenging to balance his time with so many commitments.
“It can be difficult, but I believe in what I’m doing,” said Young.
Young said he decided to volunteer as campaign manager because the demographic factors of northern Missouri have reduced the number of representatives the area has at the State Capitol.
“It’s more important now than ever that we have very strong representatives in Jefferson City who understand the issues that face north Missouri,” Young said.
Despite these strong political feelings, Young said he has no plans to run for higher office.
Walker and Young are assisted by numerous volunteers and organizations throughout the community, including the Adair County Republican Club and the Truman State College Republicans.
Walker said he enjoys a close friendship with Young and is thankful for his expert help during the campaign.
“I don’t think there’s anybody more knowledgeable in north Missouri about political campaigns,” Walker said.
Alumnus Zach Buckler, campaign manager for the local Democratic candidate for district three state representative Rebecca McClanahan, is preparing for the last week before elections as the race for the Missouri House of Representatives intensifies.
McClanahan, who is running for a third term in the Missouri House of Representatives, said she considers Buckler her most vital assistant. McClanahan served in office from 2007 to 2011 until Zachary Wyatt, R-2, who defeated her during the 2010 general election, took office.
Buckler said he hopes to help McClanahan reclaim her position during the 2012 general election.
When Buckler graduated from Truman State during 2012, McClanahan said she was looking for a campaign manager and contacted him based on recommendations from colleagues in Jefferson City. She said they sat down for an interview and both felt comfortable working with each other.
“I think it’s a very crucial partnership,” McClanahan said.
Buckler worked as an intern at the Capitol during spring 2011, serving with the Minority Leaders caucus in the Missouri House of Representatives. He said as part of the staff he got to shadow everyone in the caucus, which gave him a variety of experiences in politics.
Buckler said he always had interest in politics — being a political science major at Truman helped that interest — but it was the internship that made him decide to pursue a career in politics.
Being a campaign manager is an “all of the above” sort of position, Buckler said. He said he does everything from scheduling and staffing events to fundraising and advertising. McClanahan has numerous events every week, in Kirksville and throughout district three, which he attends with her.
Buckler said he enjoys his job as campaign manager and hasn’t considered running for office himself, though with the upcoming 2012 election soon he hasn’t had much time to think about it.
“We’re focused on Nov. 6,” Buckler said. “We’re in this for all we’ve got—to win it.”