Young Maine teen may be youngest Democratic delegate in US
AUGUSTA, MAINE >> Trevor Doiron isn't old enough to vote until late July. But when he does, he'll be voting for Hillary Clinton as one of the youngest national Democratic delegates this year.
Though his choice surprised many of his friends who are die-hard supporters of Bernie Sanders, Doiron, 17, says he wants to get them on board to defeat presumptive Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
Doiron, from Jay, Maine, a population of fewer than 5,000 about 30 miles northwest of Augusta, says he's not from a rich family — he's just a small town kid from a rural area.
"I want to show someone like that has the potential to do great things on the national stage," he says.
Doiron will turn 18 on July 29 — the day after the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia ends.
So far, Doiron is the youngest Democratic national delegate, according to the Maine Democratic Party, though that could change after the few remaining states finalize their delegates. Other teenage delegates for this November's election include Michigan Democratic delegate Ethan Petzold, 18, and Jace Laquerre, 17, a Republican delegate from Vermont.
Doiron is one of eight pledged Clinton delegates from Maine. Sanders, who beat Clinton by a nearly 30-point margin in the March caucus, will have 17 pledged delegates. Of Maine's five superdelegates, three have pledged for Clinton and one for Sanders.
Now a senior at Spruce Mountain High School, Doiron has been interested in politics ever since 2008, when a neighbor asked him, then 10, to help put up political signs. One Howard Dean rally at the University of Maine-Farmington later, he was on board with liberalism. Since then, he's spent hundreds of hours phone banking and canvassing for Democratic candidates.
Doiron assisted his regional school district's board of directors with its budget. Concerns about cuts to state aid have informed his political leanings.
"Government has a moral responsibility to take care of poor people and ensure people don't go out without basic health care, education — all that you need to be successful in life," Doiron said.
Doiron describes himself as center-left, and said during his February vacation, he sat on a Florida beach reading Clinton's memoir, "Hard Choices." He's drawn to her attention to detail. He likes how she appeals to young people with her "debt-free" college plan, he says. And he's dismissed scandals over Benghazi and Clinton's private email server as a "political witch hunt."
But at a time when a Bloomberg Politics poll shows Sanders supporters leaning toward Trump or third-party candidates, Doiron hopes Sanders soon endorses Clinton.
"I think Donald Trump is a serious threat and should be taken as a serious threat," Doiron said.
Despite his resume so far, Doiron isn't set on his post-high school plans and said he'll keep saying yes to opportunities as they come to him.