At a time when many young people are not even voting, Casey Roncaglione has decided to do more.
The 21-year-old Temple junior is running for a seat in the House of Representatives in District 164, which includes the Upper Darby and Drexel Hill areas. Roncaglione is running against longtime Republican incumbent, Mario Civera.
Even though Roncaglione is relatively young, he said that most people are open to a younger candidate and are happy to see someone who is involved and willing to listen to voters.
Roncaglione said his age has actually helped him.
“I have a lot of energy, fresh legs as they say, and I basically walked around my entire district meeting people,” said Roncaglione, whose Web site states that he has visited more than 10,000 homes.
But Roncaglione hasn’t done all of the walking alone. He said that his friends and family have been by his side during the entire campaign, and were excited when he told them he was running. Many of his friends are campaign volunteers, and his mom helps by stapling lawn signs.
Roncaglione, who is a student in the Fox School of Business, said he wants to be a candidate that constituents can talk to.
He said much of his campaign has been spent knocking on people’s doors, talking to the public and attending a lot of events.
“I want to listen more than any other official has,” Roncaglione said.
Roncaglione said that he is particularly open to young people, whom he said are often ignored by other politicians.
Roncaglione said that young people don’t vote because the system doesn’t want them to.
“I don’t care if you vote for me or against me, I just want young people to vote,” Roncaglione said.
In addition to running for office, Roncaglione spends his nights taking classes at TUCC. As election day grew closer, Roncaglione spent much of his time traveling between Center City and his district.
He said school is one of the most important
aspects of his life.
On the night of the election, he said he’ll be in class instead of waiting for the results of the election with his campaign.
For the most part, Roncaglione said that his professors have been supportive.
“They aren’t giving me huge breaks, but they are nice to me,” Roncaglione said.
If elected, Roncaglione said he will leave Temple, but will finish his college education at a slower pace, perhaps at Temple Harrisburg.
“Education is something you can continue
all of your life,” Roncaglione said.
Although he’s running for office, Roncaglione said a lifelong career in politics does not appeal to him.
He said that career politicians are a problem in government and that, “absolute power leads to absolute corruption.”
His ideal plan would be to serve a few terms, solve the problems he sees and then let someone with fresh ideas replace him.
After that, Roncaglione said he doesn’t have any definite plans for the future, but is considering joining the Peace Corp.
“I just live day by day,” Roncaglione said.
LeAnne Matlach can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.