Election Coverage 2016
Tyler Smith, Staff Writer
With the first female major party candidate ever paired with Donald Trump acting exactly as Donald Trump always has, the 2016 election was certainly interesting to watch unfold. However for one former Wingate student, it was his first, albeit fulfilling, taste of a hopefully long career in politics.
Wingate University class of 2015 alum Zach Almond graduated last December with a Degree in Communications with a Public Relations focus, hoping to find work in a political sector. Less than a year later he found himself contributing to three election campaigns in one of the most polarizing election years to date.
“It has been very hectic, over the summer I ran a Congressional campaign, and during this cycle I have ran two campaigns, served as political director for another and done extensive work with the College Republican National Committee,” Zach said. “Next week I am already back at work the College Republican National Committee in San Diego at the Fall Meeting.”
This year Zach served as political director for Buck Newton, the Republican Senator running for the Attorney General’s office, as well as the grassroots consultant for Jeff Carpenter’s bid for Union County Superior Court Justice, and was a general consultant for Union County Commission hopeful Frank Aikmus. Newton’s opponent Josh Stein declared victory last week, however it was the tightest race for Attorney General in state history, where a Republican has never been elected to the office.
Not only was Zach involved in numerous republican campaigns in North Carolina, he also contributed to the Trump campaign on a statewide level, and even met President-elect Donald Trump numerous times prior to one of the most shocking electoral outcomes in presidential history.
“I have met Donald Trump many times, several times before this year – he is an incredible person. I have met both Lara and Ivanka and sat near the entire family over the summer on the convention floor in Cleveland. The entire family are very nice, genuine, hard working people,” Zach said. “If you would of asked me a year ago if Donald would be president I would say absolutely not, but I think at this point he is what our country needs, he’s not polished, but he can get the job done.”
Some recent college grads work in dead end jobs for a year or so before they find out what it is they truly want to do. In Zach’s case, he found his niche well before graduation and began compiling a resume that now lists seven different political campaigns under work experience dating as early as his freshman year at Wingate.
When asked if he had any advice for Wingate students, Zach provided an example in the next President of the United states.
“Hard work pays off even when your plan doesn’t seem to come together,” Zach said. “Always Always Always work hard, and don’t let up even when the odds are against you ( case in point Donald Trump).”
Edited by: Sara Gunter