A future Harvard student will make history tomorrow night when he seconds the nomination of Bob Dole as the Republican party's presidential candidate from his--and Dole's--home town of Russell, Kansas.
When Curtis "C.J." Mahoney '00 and his co-valedictorian from Russell High School second the nomination from the courthouse steps in the small midwestern town, it will be the first time the gesture has been made from outside the convention center, according to C.J. Mahoney's mother, Joyce A. Mahoney.
C.J. Mahoney himself also seemed excited. "This is almost surreal," he said.
C.J. Mahoney said the event in Russell will be connected by satellite hook-up to the convention in San Diego.
"That part of the convention is going to be not only about Bob Dole but also about where he comes from," he said.
C.J. Mahoney, who plans to concentrate in government at Harvard, said he has a strong background in politics.
"It's just sort of my calling, I guess," he said. "It's what I want to do."
Mahoney has participated in several of Dole's Senate campaigns as well as his presidential campaign, including a stint as liaison to the press during Dole's announcement tour.
He was Dole's choice for the Senate Youth Program, which allows each senator to bring one youngster from his or her state to Washington D.C. for a week. And he was part of a panel of graduates from his high school who met with Dole during his birthday party in Russell a couple of weeks ago.
Mahoney said he does not yet know exactly what he will say tomorrow night.
"I'll be one of the people who sort of does the official jargon," Mahoney said. "I haven't gotten the official script yet as to what I'm going to say but I'm giving a speech to the community before the televised event starts."
While it is unusual to have someone so young second a presidential nomination, Mahoney said he thought it was part of the message of the campaign.
"It's done to sort of broaden the appeal," he said. "I think certainly they want to extend the appeal of their party to younger voters."
Mark E. Angotti, the producer of the event, said he interviewed a number of Russell teenagers to find the right person for the occasion.
"We were looking for somebody who embodies the spirit of Russell and the values instilled in the people of this town," said Angotti.
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