This election season, young people appear to be more upset about the candidates for President than at any other point in history. Widespread questions about the qualifications, trustworthiness, and divisiveness about both the major Party nominees have caused countless millennials to be looking for other choices.
Polling suggests that only 23% of people under the age of 30 are actually satisfied with the Presidential candidates available to them. By comparison, at this point in 2008, 68% stated that they were satisfied with the candidates for President.
It is no secret that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are the two most unpopular nominees ever. Many older adults have come to a conclusion that one of these candidates is better than the other, while it seems as if young people are simply looking for their favorite, regardless of their chance of victory.
However, some millennials have taken it upon themselves to shape the voice of politics. A number of notable young candidates have arisen across the United States, for all levels of office.
For example, Rebekah Johansen Bydlak and Russell Taub are both twenty-something-year-olds running for Congress in Florida and Rhode Island, respectively. At lower levels, there are sporadic young candidates for city councils, school boards, and similar local positions.
I had the chance to speak to one of these candidates, Joey Cilano, who is running for Town Council in Prescott Valley, Arizona. Prescott Valley is a town in Arizona with just under 40,000 residents. Cilano is one of five candidates currently challenging the four incumbents on the council in the town.
Cilano is a Senior at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University studying Business Administration, and is also the State Chairman of the Arizona Federation of Young Republicans. He also has helped out numerous organizations and campaigns over the last few years. Over the past few months, however, he has been vigorously campaigning across his area in the hopes of filling a seat on the Council.
I was able to speak with him about his race and why he is running. To begin, I asked Cilano about when he decided to run and what he sees as the largest issues facing his town.
“I feel that the real deal breaker which finally convinced to run was when the current council voted to raise our local sales tax saying that they ‘desperately’ needed the revenue for the police and roads, and then the next month approved a $100,000 expenditure for a statue.” Cilano said. “Simply put, the people of Prescott Valley feel, as do I, that they cannot trust the Council to look out for their best interests. One of the things that a lot of people do not realize is that government can easily become corrupt, even in small towns like mine. We see a pattern of creeping cronyism and big government secularism that must be fought, and I felt strongly that I must be one of the people to do just that,” he added.
Despite being the youngest candidate in the race, Cilano has not allowed his youth to hold him back from vigorous campaigning against the Prescott Valley political establishment. His calls to roll back the town’s half-cent sales tax have come under fire by a number of municipal employees. The Chief of Police labeled the policies that Cilano has been pushing for as “ignorant,” and has going as far to say that the candidates who are looking to repeal the tax hold “dangerous views.”
This push back has been used to fuel his campaign, and has become a good talking point that shows how he will stand up to the establishment if elected.
“A lot of people were upset about the sales tax increase,” Cilano said, “They realize that we can keep taxes low without moving money out of the primary functions of government, like Police.”
When asked about his campaign themes, and how this factors in, he explained, “I’m running my campaign with the slogan of ‘Limit Government, Preserve Liberty,’ which is a twist on Reagan’s famous quote, ‘Man is not free unless government is limited.’ I believe that this message especially appeals to Millennials as they really just want to just be left alone to live their lives!”
All in all, Cilano as well as a number of other millennials across the country have made a great sacrifice to run to serve their respective communities. There are a number of very qualified candidates running across the nation who have promised to fight for freedom and limited government.
Joey Cilano was able to best represent what voters are looking for.
“I think that many people know that I have very little political experience, but they realize that that means that I have no experience raising their taxes! And I have made it abundantly clear, I never want to gain that kind of experience,” he said.
Despite the vast public dismay with the two major party nominees in the presidential election, there are many candidates down ballot who are more than worthy of voting for. There are still true candidates who will fight to truly restrain government.