Can the 20-year old head of the Maryland College Republicans become the Chairman of the State’s GOP? Inspired by the success of young politicians like Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Eric Cantor, Loyola University sophomore, Mike Estéve, has decided to put himself up for the job. Estéve is just one of the many candidates vying for the Chair on December 11th. If elected, he would be the youngest person to lead the party. Who said there were no Republicans under the age of 30?
The November elections saw Republican successes nationally, but in a few states, things were rather different. Democrats retained control of governor’s mansions in Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire, Washington State, Oregon, Arkansas, and Maryland while regaining control of Vermont and California. Proving that California’s politics are officially insane, voters opted to reelect Governor Brown who admitted to lying in order to get elected. Believing that Obamacare does not go far enough, Vermont Governor-Elect Peter Shumlin wants to enact a single-payer system. In Maryland, O’Malley was reelected even after he raised taxes early on, lost revenue for his state, and falsified job reports just this year.
While Republicans fared worse in the Free State than in nearly any other, a Republican Party leadership contest due to happen in a few weeks could reverse Maryland’s fortunes. Just as many of the new Republican leaders in Congress are younger than in recent history, the situation in Maryland could benefit from Estéve’s younger leadership to inspire potential donors and build up party resources.
As a co-founder of the Baltimore Tea Party coalition, Mike Estéve knows the importance of grassroots activism.
In his current capacity, Estéve has doubled the number of College Republicans in his state, and has helped to organize new chapters on campuses statewide. Under his leadership, the Maryland Federation of College Republicans engaged in political campaigns at all levels. His efforts on behalf of the College Republicans has earned Estéve acclaim from elements of the GOP establishment in Maryland, yet he remains an underdog in his bid to bring his successes to the wider party in his state. The frontrunner for the chairmanship of the Maryland GOP has strong name recognition and is firmly a party insider. Mary Kane, wife of former Maryland Republican Party Chairman John Kane, was the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor in 2010.
Estéve feels that fundraising and growing the party’s youth base is key to reviving Maryland’s Republican base. The future of the Republican Party in Maryland requires leadership that can address the challenges it faces, while also supporting the principles that make the Republican Party great. If they give the kid a chance, maybe he could save this distressingly liberal state.