Eighteen-year-old Logan Caudill of Chariton has taken quite a few steps into a potential career in politics in the last few months.
The 2020 Chariton High School graduate, who is currently a freshman at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, had been able to intern and work as a full-time staffer on several campaigns just since entering college last fall.
His biggest job to date was with the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Caudill worked as a full-time staffer for the Republican Party during the double Senate runoff campaigns of Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue from late November to early January.
"I never expected to have the opportunities that I do especially at my age," said Caudill. "There's not many 18 year olds that were able to get their flights paid for and being able to be paid down in Georgia to help with something that our entire national was looking at."
Caudill said the opportunity came about through a connection he made at his fraternity Delta Upsilon. Although the fraternity is not politically affiliate, Caudill said one of his fraternity brothers got him the change to intern on the campaign of Esther Joy King, who was running for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives for Illinois' 17th Congressional District. That connection led to the job opportunity in Georgia where Caudill helped work events and contact potential voters across the state by phone and through door knocking in Bartow and Cherokee counties.
"I would leave the hotel around 8 a.m. and I would get back to the hotel around 6, 6:30," said Caudill.
Caudill said he also got the opportunity to meet former Mississippi Republican governor Haley Barbour and U.S Representative Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas.
Caudill said he believes he will be able to work with the National Republican Senatorial Committee again in the future but right now he is interning for the Sid Ruckreigel campaign for mayor of Peoria.
"It's non-partisan," said Caudill. "In Peoria to run for mayor, when you get ... your voting sheet, it doesn't have any political affiliation ... next to any of their names."
Caudill said Ruckreigel is a conservative candidate and he is doing a lot of voter contacts and attending events for the campaign as well. Ruckreigel is one of five candidates who will be facing each other in the mayoral primary at the end of February. The top two vote-getters will then move on the general election.
Caudill said he first became interested in politics after attending a caucus with his father. Caudill's parents are Scott and Melissa Caudill.
"I attended my first caucus in eighth grade with my father," said Caudill. "From there it kind of started for me. I started to engage in local politics by attending the primary or caucus last year for the presidency for the Republican party."
Caudill said although he became more interested in politics throughout high school.
"I was very active in politics through high school," said Caudill. "I was very politically engaged."
Caudill said that more than likely he will be going into politics later in life. He said he is currently majoring in sports communication, but he is thinking he will either double major with that and political science or might just switch majors. Still as much as he thinks politics is interesting and important, he feels politics in the United States right now is not in a good place.
"I look at politics right now as something that is not in the place it should be in," said Caudill. "It's very divisive and ... you're either on one side or the other. Politics shouldn't be that way. I've learned that first hand. If you're able to have a sit down conversation with someone and be able to know your differences and be able to just talk about things it helps a lot more then what you'd ever expect."