News Staff Writer
UD junior Dawson Vandervort was profiled by Flyer News in September for running in his hometown school board election. Cover photo courtesy of Flyer News.
The results of this Election Day were not quite what junior Dawson Vandervort had hoped for.
The political science and philosophy double major ran for school board in his home district of Vandalia-Butler, about 20 minutes from campus. Four candidates ran for two positions, and unfortunately Vandervort did not emerge victorious.
This isn’t going to dampen Vandervort’s ambitions, however. He is focusing on the positive results that came from the election.
“My goal was to receive at least 1,000 votes,” Vandervort shared. “While that didn’t quite happen, I was able to pull 15% of the vote overall, which I was very proud of.”
The campaign experience taught Vandervort a lot about the political process.
“It’s really beneficial if you’re running for a position as an incumbent,” he said. “In local elections, people aren’t as invested, so that name recognition helps a lot.”
Vandervort also faced a lot of comments about his age while campaigning.
“I’ve never been called a kid more in my life,” he joked. “Some people were a little skeptical of me running for office at such a young age, but lots of people were very supportive.”
Campaigning was a difficult process, but Vandervort is thankful for the help he received.
“I really was running out of steam toward the end, but my friends stepped in and helped me knock doors,” he shared.
In the future, Vandervort isn’t sure if he will run for a higher office. He enjoyed seeing how the process works at a local level and knowing he could make a difference in his own community.
“As an elected official at the state or federal level, you always have to be fundraising and looking ahead to the next election,” Vandervort said. “I would definitely be interested in running for a local office again, though.”
Overall, Vandervort is glad he decided to run for school board. He met many of his community members and learned about the issues they care about. Although his immediate plans remain undecided, Vandervort is excited for his potential political future.
“You never know what could happen next,” he said.