23 Aug 2014
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Marion Teen is 2012 Democratic National Convention’s Youngest Delegate [VIDEO]

Patch catches up with 17-year-old Sam Gray at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.

CHARLOTTE, NC -- Editor's note: Sam Gray, 17, is a senior at in Marion, Iowa.

Sam, thanks for taking the time to talk with us. So you’re 17 years old; your first convention I take it?

Yes, it’s my first national convention, and it’s exceeded all my expectations. It’s a great experience. There are so many different people here. Everyone can get involved.

How did you become a delegate, and why did you decide to become a delegate?

Well, when I knew I was going to be old enough to participate in this kind of thing, I decided to go to the county and then district and then state conventions. When I went to the district convention, that’s when I decided I wanted to run to be a national delegate. I gave a speech about youth support — how it’s still alive — and that I wanted to come and represent that. After that I was elected to come here.

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Here's more DNC-related coverage with an Iowa theme:

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Tell me about your college plans and what you want to major in?

Well I want to major in political science and economics, and I’m thinking about going to either Drake University or the University of Portland.

Do you have any idea what the future holds?

Well, if I’m not in politics, I’d either be an attorney or a financial advisor.

Do you think you might want to run for an elected office?

That depends. If I knew that I could make a positive difference in an elected position, I would run. It would just depend on the circumstances.

Is there a particular politician who you would like to meet?

I guess basically everyone who has spoken here this week. They’ve all been great to hear, and I’ve been able to meet a variety of people who have spoken at our delegation’s breakfasts.

What reaction do you usually get from people when they find out you’re 17 years old?

They’re surprised. A lot of people wonder how I’m even here!

What’s been the highlight this week? What will be the lasting memory from DNC 2012? 

Well, I actually didn’t know I was the youngest delegate in the nation. I knew I was the youngest in Iowa, but yesterday morning at breakfast the chair of the Iowa Democratic Party told me that I was the youngest delegate in the nation. That was pretty cool, and that’s something I’ll always remember.

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