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Jul 17 2016
by Karly Matthews

Why I Support Marco Rubio for the U.S. Senate

By Karly Matthews - Jul 17 2016

As November inches closer and closer, Americans are making decisions for their ballots. Obviously, the presidential race tends to be at the forefront of everyone’s mind, but the Senate will fill 34 out of its 100 seats, for one of which incumbent Marco Rubio is campaigning.

The Senator is a perfect example of why I, and so many other young Conservatives, adhere to our Republican values, and his rapid rise to political success has inspired the party really as a whole. Rubio went from being a private citizen to a United States Senator in only twelve years, which is almost instant success in the world of in politics. Although his presidential campaign did not go as planned largely thanks to a man named Donald Trump, the Senate is still calling the young politician’s name despite his doubts about reelection.

A son of Cuban immigrants who came to this country with very little money, Rubio understands the American Dream, which of course is making a better life for both yourself and your family through hard work and determination. Some say the American Dream no longer exists, but it does - it’s simply not handed out and must be earned. As a child, Rubio watched his parents work long hours as a bartender and a maid among other jobs to make ends meet and provide for their four children, Rubio being the second youngest. Rubio constantly expresses his appreciation for his parents’ sacrifices in his memoir, titled "An American Son" which is definitely worth the read — because without them, there is no way he could have pursued a higher education and eventually politics.

In his young political career, Rubio held office in the West Miami City Commission before winning a seat in the Florida House of Representatives. There, Rubio eventually became Speaker — the first Cuban-American to ever hold this title — and in this position, he presented “100 Innovative Ideas for Florida’s Future.” During the remainder of Rubio’s time in the Florida house, at least a fourth of the ideas directly became laws with aspects of others also passed. With such a promising start to his career in Florida, Rubio made a big decision: he would run against the current Florida governor, Charlie Crist, for a U.S. Senate seat in 2010. Against all odds — and most of the initial polls — Rubio won the nomination and later the seat.

With his opposition to big government, fiscal conservatism and desire to help those who elected him, Rubio is a prime Republican candidate to retain his seat this November. Yes, Rubio is a young politician, but he’s become a champion of the Republican Party, especially with younger GOP adherents. Through his campaign against Governor Crist, he proved that an underdog who truly cares about his constituents can win an election, and the message of his presidential campaign, although now suspended, touched many voters across the country. The idea that this Senator is a true example of the American Dream, loves our country and wants to improve the lives of the people he serves is something we all look for in an elected official.

The Senator really inspired me personally to pursue a career in politics because his experiences show that our political system is not dead and there is still an ability to make change as a legislator in this country. For instance, while on the Miami City Commission, Rubio championed a vote to plant trees in a formerly neglected neighborhood, which is democracy and representation at its truest level. We forget sometimes that change really can occur if we want it to in this country, and Rubio's time in various offices can show us that.

Of course, only Floridians will be voting for or against Rubio this cycle, so unless you’re a Florida resident yourself, your ballot won’t include the Senator’s name. To find your state’s senators up for reelection in November, visit this site and remember to exercise your right to suffrage this election season for all offices. 

Lead Image Credit: Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons

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Karly Matthews - Temple University

Karly Matthews is a political science and journalism major with a Spanish minor at Temple University. In high school, she was editor-in-chief of her school's online newspaper, a member of the yearbook staff, a Spanish Club officer and a dancer for 12 years. In her free time, Karly drinks too much coffee and follows politics with an obsessive passion. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @karlymatthews_!

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