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Rebekah Johansen

Age

22

Location

University of West Florida, 2010

Twitter

@RebekahJohansen

When Rebekah Johansen was 10, she was so intrigued by the political process that she stayed up late to watch the outcome of the

When Rebekah Johansen was 10, she was so intrigued by the political process that she stayed up late to watch the outcome of the 2000 elections. And by the age of 13, she was writing letters to the editor at the Pensacola News Journal. But by the time she was 16, Johansen said she was fed up with the political process.

“I got a little bit disillusioned early on, even though it’s funny to say a 16 year old can be disillusioned,” she told Red Alert Politics. “Seeing issues like the deficit and growing federal government … it is personal when you’re home-schooled and see government involved in people’s lives.”

Thankfully, Johansen’s disenchantment didn’t stop her from getting involved in the Florida Tea Party movement, where she immediately found like-minded individuals who shared her passion for responsible spending.

“As a fiscal conservative, it’s easy to get into the mindset that you are the lone wolf, but it showed me that at a small level people really support these issues and changes are being made,” she said.

Her positive experience with the Tea Party led her to volunteer for then-Rep. Ron Paul’s (R-Texas) presidential campaign in 2008. She went on to work in local and state politics and eventually connected with Young Americans for Liberty in college. And when the chance came to move to D.C. — a longtime dream — she took it, becoming Outreach Director at the Coalition to Reduce Spending.

“The work we’re doing in the Coalition is so important. It’s turning the attention toward something that has been neglected,” she said.

Johansen admitted that getting involved in established politics isn’t always the easiest, but she tells young conservatives to keep going despite negative feedback.

“People may decide that they hate you or they may decide that they love you,” she said. “Don’t get discouraged.”

Thirty Under Thirty 2013

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