AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Trevor Doiron (DWY-ron) isn’t old enough to vote until late July. But when he does, he’ll be voting for Hillary Clinton as one of the youngest national Democratic delegates this year.
The 17-year-old’s choice surprised many of his friends who are die-hard supporters of Bernie Sanders. But Doiron says he wants to get them on board to defeat Donald Trump.
Doiron noted that Clinton herself has said that unlike President Obama or her husband Bill, she’s not a natural politician. He hopes she will keep emphasizing policies appealing to young people, like her so-called “debt-free” college plan.
Doiron is one of eight pledged Clinton delegates from Maine. Sanders, who beat Clinton by a nearly 30-point margin in March, will have 17 pledged delegates.
Of Maine’s five superdelegates, three have pledged for Clinton and one for Sanders.
Now a senior at Spruce Mountain High School, Doiron has been interested in politics ever since 2008, when a neighbor asked him, then 10, to help put up political signs. One Howard Dean rally at the University of Maine-Farmington later, he was on board with liberalism. Since then, he’s spent hundreds of hours phone banking and canvassing for Democratic candidates.
Doiron assisted his regional school district’s board of directors with its budget. Concerns about cuts to state aid have informed his political leanings.
“Government has a moral responsibility to take care of poor people and ensure people don’t go out without basic health care, education7/8 — all that you need to be successful in life,” Doiron said.
Doiron describes himself as center-left, and said during his February vacation, he sat on a Florida beach reading Clinton’s memoir, “Hard Choices.” He’s drawn to her attention to detail. He likes how she appeals to young people with her “debt-free” college plan, he says. And he’s dismissed scandals over Benghazi and Clinton’s private email server as a “political witch hunt.”
But at a time when a Bloomberg Politics poll shows Sanders supporters leaning toward Trump or third-party candidates, Doiron hopes Sanders soon endorses Clinton.
“I think Donald Trump is a serious threat and should be taken as a serious threat,” Doiron said.
Despite his resume so far, Doiron isn’t set on his post-high school plans and said he’ll keep saying yes to opportunities as they come to him.