Diehard Trump fan Jeremy Wiggins is the youngest delegate from Missouri and one of a few near the age of 21 with a voting role in the GOP presidential convention this week.
“Whenever I run into other young delegates [on the convention floor] my age from other states, we automatically make eye contact and start talking because there are so few of us this age,” Wiggins says. “Whenever I walk down there, even the people checking my credentials give me a double glance.”
Wiggins has campaigned for the New York businessman since the beginning of the race, so Tuesday’s nomination night was a big one for him. Missouri cast 11 votes for U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and 41 for Trump.in the state roll call.
Wiggins is from Ellington and saw that there was no Trump delegate in his congressional district in the boot heel region.
“There was a Cruz slate running but no Trump slate even though the people had voted for Trump, so I felt that the way that people voted should be how their delegates get to go to the convention.”
After he was elected at the state party convention, Wiggins was pleasantly surprised with the support he got at home— in the form of money.
“I had people come up to me and just hand me checks and it was very gracious, good people who believed in the candidate and the youth vote being here. After that happened I then had people shooting me emails on Facebook.”
He eventually created a Go Fund Me site since, the overall convention tab for delegates is $3,000 or more. Wiggins says he was surprised by people considered establishment Republicans who sent his $500 checks.
Trump, like Bernie Sanders, has a non-establishment appeal to younger voters, says Wiggins.
“At the University of Missouri, there’s two clubs, the Bernie Club and the Trump Club, that’s it. Those are the candidates that excite people. For Trump, he brings a message that’s different from Bernie’s but he delivers it in a similar way, with this message of change.”
“I think a lot of people my age are really just looking for change.”
Then, Trumps activity on social media attracted more conservative millennials, says Wiggins. “Even ones that may not like him know way more about him and are following him way more than they might have any other traditional Republican. He’s good with social media, in the sense that he can always keep people drawn in, drawn in.”
Wiggins wants to go to law school, but after his experience in the campaigns and the convention, he says he will not run for office.
“I’ve seen what goes on, especially in Missouri. I don’t think I’m that cutthroat or even I’d like to think I’m more intelligent than that to go into a field that is that cutthroat,” Wiggins says.