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Derek Merrin




University of Toledo, 2008



Not many people think about running for office at the age of 15, but Derek Merrin already had his eyes firmly set on running for mayor of his hometown of Waterville, Ohio, a community of 5,500.

He went on to be elected to his city council at the age of 19, and achieved his goal of becoming the city’s mayor at 21, beating a three-term Democratic incumbent.

“I had people challenge me and doubt my abilities due to my age, but I overcame them really quickly,” Merrin, said.

Merrin, now 26, graduated from the University of Toledo in 2008, and said that the 1998 Clinton impeachment controversy motivated his interest in getting active in politics.

He sees the growing national debt and moral decline of America as the greatest challenges facing young Americans.

“I really encourage young people to campaign and to become elected officials,” Merrin said. “It’s not enough to volunteer or blog; we need conservatives running for school boards, county-wide offices, and state legislative seats.”

He states simply, “We don’t have enough young people actually seeking public office.”

Young Americans don’t need to be finished with college to run for office, but they need to run on solid principles to get elected, Merrin said.

He currently works as a performance analyst in the Ohio state auditor’s office helping local governments effectively manage their resources.

Merrin says he aspires to run for future public offices to further liberty, freedom, lower taxes, help eliminate government waste and to preserve the Constitution.

Thirty Under Thirty 2012

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