Jonathan Ellis has an article in the Argus Leader today pointing out Congressman Dusty Johnson’s work with the youth vote as a result of many, many years cultivating an interest in politics from teenagers on up:
One of the rare exceptions of a politician who has managed to successfully court a youth contingent is South Dakota Rep. Dusty Johnson. That’s not to say young voters flock to vote for Johnson, but Johnson over the years has cultivated a loyal following among young activist Republican voters. That’s largely come though his years of work with the South Dakota Teenage Republicans.
But his work with young Republicans has helped him create a brand that is unique. During his campaigns more than a decade ago for the Public Utilities Commission, it wasn’t uncommon to go to a parade and see throngs of young people marching for Johnson. For a PUC race. Those races typically only garner the attention of policy geeks.
But whether through accident or by design, Johnson’s long work at engaging younger voters has given him a baked in advantage in politics. The now aging youths of the Reagan Revolution still reflect warmly on the man that inspired them into politics, and they would no doubt enthusiastically vote for him today if he were somehow miraculously risen from the grave.
And Dusty Johnson still is a positive influence on getting young people involved in politics, as evidenced by the group walking for the Congressman in today’s DSU parade: