On his 18th birthday, Nicholas Scott's first-ever vote will be for Dad
Nicholas Scott turns 18 on Election Day, and among his very first votes will be one for his father, a Democrat running for Congress.
George Scott is trying to unseat three-term Republican incumbent Scott Perry in the 10th District race that's proving hyper-competitive despite it falling in a conservative district.
While the elder Scott is on the campaign trail trying to earn as many votes as possible, he can at least rely on one.
Now 17 years old, Nicholas Scott's birthday falls on Nov. 6, and as many may expect, he plans to be voting for his father thanks to a Pennsylvania law that allowed him to pre-register for the midterm elections.
Introduction to politics: The Cumberland Valley High School senior lives in Dillsburg with his father, stepmother and sister, all of whom have been involved in what he described as an enlightening journey.
"You see (political) commercials on the entire time you've been growing up on TV, but you haven't paid attention to them," he said. "Then, all of a sudden, your dad is in those commercials."
Prior to his father announcing his candidacy, Nicholas Scott said he didn't have much interest in politics. But he was fully supportive after his father asked him and his family what they thought of the decision.
"Obviously it's a large decision; it's going to affect us no matter what," he said. "I was fully in support of it, and I have been since then."
Although hectic, Nicholas Scott said the experience has brought the two closer, and his father has become a type of political mentor to his previously politically-disinterested son.
"I've gotten to experience things with my dad that I never had the opportunity to before," he said. "You can form a different type of bond by being involved in this huge activity."
As he approaches adulthood and as his father's platform develops, Nicholas Scott noted his own personal political growth. Although he said he has almost exclusively focused on the 10th District race, he expects his political ideologies to continue to develop.
"You grow up and develop (political opinions), and you can see those not only being portrayed in politics by people you don't know, but in my case people you know really well," Nicholas Scott said.
A politician father: Come Election Day, he said he's confident his father will turn the 10th District seat blue, as he is the most qualified for the job, especially with his experience in the military and as a pastor.
"He was one of the best-suited people for the job that I know," the younger Scott said. "I've known him longer than anybody else. He's very knowledgeable and has an incredible world perspective."
Nicholas Scott said his father's congressional run hasn't gone unnoticed in school, either. He described the experience as "interesting and fun," with his friends cracking jokes about the experience and teachers eagerly asking about it.
He said although his peers mostly veer to the left of the political spectrum, he has several Republican friends with whom he also enjoys discussing politics.
But Nicholas Scott admitted his father's Democratic beliefs, which have left the candidate on the heels of Perry in polling, have rubbed off on him and helped him "become more exposed to the issues people are facing."
The son of the congressional hopeful said "moral and emotional" issues such as health care and bipartisanship take priority for him personally and are often talked about by his father on the campaign trail.
Nicholas Scott also cited abortion and gay rights as two other important issues for him in the political realm, because he said he has found the Democratic party focuses on "less economic issues and more social issues."
Bipartisanship: But like his father, he said bipartisanship is the most vital change needed in Congress.
"There's definitely a big divide between the parties, but that divide can definitely be bridged on some issues," Nicholas Scott said. "Everyone's beliefs are formed by what they have experienced, and you have to recognize that."
Nicholas Scott said Perry has done a decent job in his position, but he doesn't represent the district well and hasn't made bipartisan progress, partially because of his affiliation with the Freedom Caucus, a group of Congress' most conservative members.
Youth vote: As a young voter, Nicholas Scott said, his generation's role in politics is more important than ever to help elect those who do represent their respective constituents.
For the first time in the state's history, voters between the ages of 18 and 34 outnumber voters 65 and older, according to July statistics from the Pennsylvania Department of State.
"We have the rest of our lives to form political opinions and be active in the political process and discussion," Nicholas Scott said. "If anything, it's more important than any other demographic."
After it's all said and done, Nicholas Scott said his interests in politics will continue regardless of the outcome of the election, largely because of his father's experiences.
He might even run for office himself one day, Nicholas Scott added.
"I've never thought about it before, and while it's not first on my priority list or intentions, it's obviously something I've been thinking about because of (the experience)," he said.
But for now, the new voter is focused on helping his father get elected by checking the box next to his name on the ballot.
— Logan Hullinger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter at @LoganHullYD.
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