“Elect a Younger Face For Our Grand Old Party” may be wordy for a campaign slogan, but it did the trick for 17-year-old Evan Draim.
Evan, of the Fairfax County area, is the youngest delegate at the Republican National Convention, having defeated six more entrenched party activists to represent Virginia’s 8th Congressional District.
“I reached out to pretty much everyone who was registered to attend the district convention through phone calls, speaking at Republican and conservative gatherings, to make them know that I was a serious candidate,” he said.
Evan is a rising senior at St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School in Alexandria, where a load of five Advanced Placement courses awaits him next week. His grandparents inspired his interest in politics and the Republican Party. They fled Soviet oppression in Hungary to come to the United States.
“I view my political involvement, and especially my involvement in the conservative movement, as a way of preserving the American values that my family came to the United States for,” he said.
As a delegate, Evan hopes to convince other young voters that the Republican Party can represent their interests.
“I think a lot of young people are known for really wanting to be independent and make their own decisions, and we should expect the same independence and freedom from our government that we expect from our parents and other authority figures at this age,” he said.
The way party elders have embraced him has cemented Evan’s loyalty.
“Regardless of the age, I’ve found people in the party I can hang out, talk to and have given me support in all the activities that I’m doing at the convention,” he said.