Shepherd University student runs for political office

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Caleb Hudson, senior political science major at Shepherd University.

(THE PICKET)—A Shepherd University undergraduate student has decided to take the first step in pursuing his career goals before graduation.

Caleb Hudson, a senior political science major at Shepherd, is running for county commissioner in Jefferson County. With the primary election coming up in May 2016, 24-year-old Hudson is balancing being a student and a political candidate.

“I have always wanted to be a statesman and have a say in what my government does,” Hudson said.

Hudson is involved in various groups on campus including the Shepherd University Student Veterans Organization, Pi Sigma Alpha and tutoring. Before enrolling at Shepherd in 2013, Hudson served in the U.S. Army. During his combat deployment in Afghanistan, Hudson earned a Combat Infantryman Badge. This award is given to individuals who are at the rank of colonel or below, in a Special Forces unit and performed satisfactory duties while in combat.

Many of his supporters reach out to him via email which somewhat adds to his workload, but the student-candidate is handling the pressure. “Many constituents tell me about themselves in emails, but they also express their concerns about things such as the fear that Jefferson County may adopt a rain tax like Berkley County did and etcetera,” Hudson said. “The emails really help me get to know the people and that will help me to serve them.”

“I do not only feel that my major helped to prepare me to be successful if elected, but my internship with the West Virginia State Legislature also helped to prepare me,” Hudson said.

Hudson was awarded the Frasure-Singleton Internship, which offers undergraduate students a chance to intern with a legislator for one week during the legislative session. In the 2015 legislative session, Hudson served as an intern to Boone County Delegate Joshua Nelson. Hudson said that a great deal of his preparedness came from his experience during this internship with Nelson.

“Delegate Josh Nelson from Boone County took me everywhere with him from sitting beside him on the floor when he voted, committee meetings, sitting in on meetings with constituents and lobbyists and he even asked my input in drafting legislation while I was there,” Hudson said.

Jefferson County has five commissioner representatives from separate districts in the county. The duties of a commissioner include things such as adopting ordinances and orders in areas of jurisdiction, preparing and adopting of budget for all county offices and approving purchases and payments for county elected offices.

In the upcoming election Hudson will be running as a Republican representing the Shepherdstown District and Calvin Manuel will be on the Democratic ticket representing the Charles Town District.  At the present time neither candidate has opposition, according to the information on the Jefferson County Clerk website. The primary election will be May 10, 2016, and followed by the general election on Nov. 8, 2016.

Hudson’s campaign website will be up and running with more information soon.

Brooke Binns is a writer for The Picket.  She can be contacted at tbinns01@rams.shepherd.edu