August 11th, 2007
01:32 PM ET
16 years ago

Iowa teens churn out activism in Ames

AMES, Iowa (CNN) - While the Republican candidates are courting the 35,000 or so attendees at the Ames straw poll, there is one GOP organization that is targeting a voting bloc - many of whom might not yet be old enough to cast a vote for president.

The Iowa Teenage Republicans, a statewide organization founded just before the 2004 election, makes it their mission to encourage political participation among teenagers.

"I really want teenagers to get involved and look at the issues," said T.J.
Augustine, chairman of the organization.

Augustine said he's not personally endorsing any Republican presidential candidate just yet, but he has met with them individually and visited their tents at the Iowa Republican Party sanctioned straw poll. He's encouraging other young voters to do the same.

"Be an active citizen because we're the future of this country," he said. "There's someone out there in my generation who's going to be the future president of the United States of America."

And even though the word "Republican" is in the name of the group, Augustine said it's not strictly a partisan group.

"We let Democrats join because they don't have an organization like this, and our main goal is getting teenagers involved in the government," he said.

- CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch

Filed under: Iowa • Race to '08
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