Elon, North Carolina|Thursday, January 26, 2017
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Young people attend the RNC 

Republican National Convention

CLEVELAND — The Republican National Convention started Monday with many young people in attendance representing the Grand Old Party.

Cassie Unruh, 17, says she “loves being part of the Republican Party,” especially now that she’s “actually old enough to care.”

Unruh has been attending conventions since she was born. Her mother, Kendal Unruh, has been a delegate for the past seven elections and is the leader of the national “Never Trump” movement. Cassie Unruh says she is also a part of the “Free the Delegates” movement.

“With my mom being involved in politics for 30 years, she finally just said ‘Hey do you want to come to the Western Conservative Summit in Denver, Colorado,’” Unruh said. “And ever since then, I saw the great speakers and the potential they had to change the nation.”

But Unruh is just one of the many young attendees here at the RNC.

Danielle Butcher, 19, believes that the “conservative message is good for (millennials) because it really focuses on individual responsibility and small government” and believes that “it’s really the best path for success.”

Butcher is attending the RNC with Future Female Leaders, a leading social movement for young conservative women.

But unlike Unruh, Butcher comes from a liberal family.

“My parents have always been involved in politics,” she said.

But she said that didn’t stop her from developing her own beliefs.

“I was raised to think for myself and develop my own opinions and so as I got more involved, I started looking at both sides and decided that conservatism better represents me,” Butcher said.

Butcher likes the different aspects and people of the Republican Party.

“There’s different planks in the platform, so to speak,” she said. “We’re not going to box you in and say this is what you have to believe.”

Unruh agrees that the conservative message fits her beliefs, even though she is young. She also encourages other millennials to give the GOP a try.

“I believe that if people stick with the Republican Party, it will help America for the better,” she said.

Unruh credits the conventions she’s been to for her love of politics. She aspires to have some form of political influence when she’s an adult.

“I thought, ‘Hey that could be me one day on stage and influence young leaders of America,’” Unruh said.

About the author: Paige Pauroso

Paige is a senior broadcast journalism major from Williamsburg, Virginia. She is currently senior reporter for Elon Local News, covering breaking news and human interest stories on Elon's campus. Paige has completed internships at WRIC 8 News in Richmond, VA, FOX 5 WTTG in Washington, D.C. and Wealth Briefing, while she studied abroad in London. Previously in ELN, Paige has served as assignment manager, co-producer of the ELN's online web exclusive and anchored ELN Morning two years in a row. If you have a news tip or a story you think Paige should cover, she wants to hear it! Shoot her an email ([email protected]) or find her on Twitter (@Paige_Pauroso).

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