It isn’t every day you find such a young man interested in the intrigue of politics. Then again, Kyle Constable isn’t your every day kind of young man.
At just 17, Constable has embedded himself in local politics, with an eye to the national scene as well. Constable is chairman of the Lee County Teen Republicans – which he founded in October 2009, and treasurer of the state executive board of the Georgia Teen Republicans.
Constable, a junior at Lee County High School, who moved to Georgia from Maine in late 2008, spent last summer organizing the Lee County Teen Republicans, but not without some difficulty. “At first it was definitely a challenge to get Lee teens involved,” he admits. “I had to think about things to get people’s attention.”
And while he’s garnered just 10 dedicated members – admittedly mostly male members – Constable remains optimistic about youth involvement in politics in this area among both sexes. “I expect that to change that (this school) year,” he said regarding adding more female members to the youth political group. “There are a lot of things we can do better to get more teens involved.”
That optimism extends to the campaigns in which he embeds himself, including Mike Huckabee’s 2008 presidential campaign and last year’s run by Jeff Sexton for the Leesburg City Council. This year, Constable entrenched himself at a higher level, supporting campaigns of Mike Keown, a Republican candidate for U.S. Congress, and Doug McGinnitie, a Republican candidate for Georgia Secretary of State.
Over the summer months, Constable is focus on the campaigns and what he could do to get his chosen candidates in office. He spent the break from school making phone calls and writing letters to voters, hoping to bring success to his candidates.
“I (was) doing all that grassroots work candidates love to have behind them,” he said of his campaign involvement. Constable is involved with the high school debate team and credits that activity with acclimating him to speaking in front of groups and cameras.
Constable didn’t get involved with McGinnitie’s campaign until this spring, stating that Gov. Sonny Perdue’s decision to appoint Brian Kemp to the position was “a cheap shot.” The Lee County teen dug deeply into the two campaign platforms and came out in favor of McGinnitie, deciding to support his efforts, which failed in the July primary against opponent Brian Kemp.
With his interest in politics surfacing when he was in the sixth grade, Constable quickly found his views in line with those of Bill O’Reilly, whom he began listening to on television and radio programs. He also enjoys discussing politics with his dad. But it’s the political banter among peers in which he’s most interested.
“When we moved to Lee County, I found more interest in politics among the teens here. In Maine, there is quite a bit of political apathy. Here, at least people know what’s going on and you can hold somewhat of a conversation with them,” said Constable.
Defining himself as a Libertarian Republican, Constable says he also has some interest in the Tea Party and has attended local gatherings of that group. “I enjoy being around them because they are in touch with what is going on,” he said. “I’m just a passionate young American looking to get involved with the process.”
With an eye to the future, Constable has joked since middle school that he will run for president in ’32. In the meantime, he plans to attend college in Connecticut, majoring in political science with a minor in public speaking. He also wants to run for state representative in Connecticut.
“From there, who knows where I’ll go. I guess as high as the president, who knows. Stranger things have happened.”