By: Edward Perez – Staff Writer
Ian Dollenmayer, senior political science major and vice president of UD College Republicans, was one of several University of Dayton students selected to assist Gov. John Kaisch’s presidential campaign during the New Hampshire primary.
“Seeing a presidential campaign was incredible,” Dollenmayer said. “To be a part of that, it’s something that you can’t get in a classroom. It’s something that you can’t even get at local or state level.”
The trip to New Hampshire took place from Feb. 5 to 10.
“Just the magnitude and the volume of people and work and contacts that we made in New Hampshire—it was just crazy,” Dollenmayer said.
Elaine Laux, the president of UD College Republicans, worked in the Ohio Statehouse this past summer and was friends with a peer who was transferred over to Gov. Kasich’s campaign when he announced that he was running for presidency.
The peer sent an email to the president of UD College Republicans saying the pro-Kasich super PAC, New Day For America, was looking for volunteers to travel with with them and assist his campaign with making phone calls and going door-to-door to convince New Hampshire residents Kasich is the ideal president for the 2016 campaign.
New Day For America offered to pay for everything, including their transportation and accommodations. It was an opportunity Dollenmayer and other UD students decided they could not pass up on.
Dollenmayer and some of the other UD students were put in the same group, and their primary task during the day was door knocking and speaking to New Hampshire residents on behalf of the governor. At night, they made phone calls with the same intention. They were also able to attend the rallies before the primary election and attend the primary itself.
Dollenmayer mentioned that Maggie Sheehan, another UD student, was involved in Kasich’s official campaign, Kasich for America. Sheehan had different tasks from those involved in New Day For America but was still able to link up with them.
Dollenmayer saw firsthand the abundant amount of work put in during the campaign.
“It gave perspective to what the people who were working on these campaigns in this crazy 2016 year and every before and after have done and kind of gives me an idea of how campaigning will look,” Dollenmayer said. “To get that perspective of what it’s like on the ground, how to talk to people at the door, how to deal with being hung up on the phone, it’s really great experience and it gives me a flavor for what I can expect.”
The senior saw the efforts of his team pay off when Kasich came in second for the New Hampshire primary.
Dollenmayer would gladly take part in Kasich’s campaign if he comes to Ohio, but for now, the senior accepted an offer to work for state Senator Bob Hackett in the Ohio legislature and will be a junior legislative aid for the senator.
“It was incredible,” Dollenmayer said. “Being there at the election night party in Concord and to see how excited everyone else was and most importantly how excited [Kasich] was. I mean you can just feel the happiness exude from this guy and from a whole team of people who had put in so much effort to try and make a difference and try to be a different voice than Trump and anyone else in state—that is very unique was incredible. I rarely felt that kind of feeling of pride.”
For the other coverage on the students involved with the Kasich campaign, visit here.
Photo: Dollenmayer (left) and Laux were among several UD students to support the Kasich campaign during the New Hampshire primary. Photo courtesy of Elaine Laux.