In March of this year, political science junior Alexa Scholl registered to run for Prescott City Council.
During the primaries this August, she came in at second place out of five candidates. The primaries ended in a stalemate, so the city of Prescott will vote again this week to elect a city council member.
Scholl said she bounced the idea of running for city council off of friends and family, and after a lot of deliberation, she committed to the idea and started to learn about the issues the council would address in the future.
“It really just stems from a love for my community, and I wanted to make a difference. So, it really just started with a casual conversation with my family,” Scholl said. “It stems from a love for Prescott – I want to make a difference in Prescott.”
To get her name on the ballot, Scholl had to get between 700 and 1,400 signatures on a petition — she would get 1,000, she said.
“That was probably the most difficult part of the process because I was at every event I could be at," Scholl said. "I was downtown every weekend. Any meeting that I found out about, I was going to.”
After completing the application process, the then 19 year old was officially named a candidate in May of 2017. She attended more public events, forums and ran a social media campaign to increase her name recognition.
Initially, she thought that she would get some criticism about running for city council at such a young age while still attending ASU.
“It, in all honesty, worked to my advantage quite a bit," she said. "There were people from all sides of the political spectrum that were just excited about me. I appealed to a lot different types of people. But of course, there were those who questioned my experience and my ability to serve on council.”
She has had to explain to the people of Prescott that she can still go to ASU and be on city council.
Scholl said that school is very different from when many people of Prescott went to school, that most of the classes are online now. Plus, being a city council member is a part-time job, and many current the members have day jobs.
Scholl got asked many times about her experience in politics by both citizens and other candidates.
“They are kind of mystified by me because I am such an anomaly — you don’t see a 19 to 20 year old running very often,” Scholl said.
Angela Martinez, a 31-year-old Prescott resident, said she is excited by the idea of such a young person taking on a position in city council.
“I think that it is refreshing," Martinez said. "We have a lot of older people in our town, and I think having a young perspective would be good for our town."
Scholl said her core message is “open mindedness: overcoming our political differences for the betterment of our community.”
She said that going to ASU has expanded her views and helped her introduce different perspectives to her community.
Matt Oxford, the manager of marketing and communications at the School of Politics and Global Studies, said that the political science major has many opportunities for internships and political experience for young people.
“(Political science majors) tend to have a breadth of knowledge,” Oxford said. “I think being a student here has helped, and she took the initiative in a lot of these things, but she has had some of the knowledge of how campaigns work.”
The elections will take place on Nov. 7.
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