Upon reading his obituary in a newspaper, Mark Twain supposedly said, “The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”

Same goes for the Republican Party!

Maine’s conservative youth are flocking to the party, not just to campaign for their elders, but to run for office. They are “living” leadership today with the support of Gen207, the Maine Republican Party’s youth initiative. Its mission is to empower young Republicans to lend their skills, voices and energy to the party.

Gen207 meets regularly to discuss policies and principles with anyone from any party.

Party Chairman Rick Bennett emceed a Gen207 panel discussion called “Ask Me (Almost) Anything.” Questions for the panel had been sent in to the Gen207 Facebook page and were excellent.

Panel members were typical of the Gen207 membership: Eric Brakey, state Senate candidate from Auburn; Sen. Garrett Mason of Lisbon Falls; Lee Jackson (19!), a member of the Old Town School Board and Penobscot County Republican state committeeman, and Emily Downing of Westbrook, a political science major and candidate for the House. They brought down the house with their humor, poise and insight.

Clearly, Maine’s conservative youth are coming on strong.

Two years ago, Ashley Ryan, at 21, was the youngest person ever to be elected national committeewoman. Alex Willette was the youngest national committeeman.

Alex at 21 was the youngest ever member of the Maine House and is serving his second term. At 25, he is the youngest legislator in Maine’s history and, currently, the U.S. to be in a leadership position – assistant Republican leader.

Isaac Misiuk, 25, is the Republican candidate for the 1st District congressional seat currently held by Chellie Pingree. Isaac remarked on stage, “Somebody has to do it!”

As I said, leadership today!

Rose Marie Russell

Westbrook