KSU alum ‘honored’ to be at Republican National Convention

Nicole Stempak

Politics has always been in Matt Riehl’s blood. He began working on political campaigns with his father when he was seven years old.

This week, the 2006 Kent State alumnus has been serving as an Ohio delegate for the 14th Congressional District at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn.

Riehl said he has been a fan of John McCain for many years and started supporting McCain in the early stages of the campaign.

“I was a supporter for him back in 2000, but I was way too young to vote then,” he said. “When 2008 came around, I jumped on board right away.”

The convention isn’t the first time Riehl saw McCain in person.

Riehl picked McCain up from the airport and escorted him around Cleveland for a Young Professionals event in the summer of 2007. At the time, Riehl said, McCain was down in the polls.

“He flew in coach from Washington D.C. with no staff,” Riehl said. “Saying he was an underdog was basically an overstatement. Nobody expected him to win.”

Delegates officially nominated McCain as the Republican presidential candidate yesterday.

“It really means a lot for me to be here and be a part of history and essentially as part of the youth vote,” he said. “I’m definitely honored to be involved.”

Riehl first ran for public office while in his senior year of high school but lost the election by 4 percent. In 2007, he ran for Stow City Council for the 1st Ward and won.

At age 24, he said he became the youngest person in Stow history to win an elected office.

Contact student politics reporter Nicole Stempak at [email protected].