College freshman Seth Koren will not have an opportunity to represent the Republican Party at August’s National Convention in Florida.
Koren ran for an alternate delegate position for this summer’s RNC. With 10.88 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s election as of 2 a.m. Tuesday, Koren came in last place out of the five candidates who vied for a position in the second congressional district. The top three candidates were elected as alternate delegates.
“It’s disappointing obviously, but not terribly,” he said. “I was fighting an uphill battle, what with my low ballot placement and all of the other candidates already being very involved with the Republican establishment.”
He added, though, that the process of running for the position and gathering support over the past few months has been a positive educational experience.
Although Koren was the only Penn student on the ballot, College and Wharton senior Charles Gray, a Daily Pennsylvanian columnist, had also initially vied to become an alternate delegate. Gray, however, was knocked off the ballot after his eligibility was challenged by Koren and another candidate, Walter Vogler, who is the 21st Ward Leader and won a regular delegate position yesterday.
Koren and Vogler challenged the validity of the signatures Gray collected for his petition to run. The alternate delegate position requires 250 signatures from registered Republicans in the second district to be placed on the ballot.
Between Koren and Vogler’s challenges, however, a judge found that Gray had less than 250 valid signatures, since some of the signers of his petition were not registered in the second district.
Upon learning that Koren was not elected, Gray said, “He should hold his head up high… there’s nothing wrong with trying and not reaching your goal 100 percent.”
Koren hopes the loss will not be the end of his political career.
“I’m actually looking into running for local Republican committeeman,” he said.
If Koren were elected to that position, he would represent the 27th Ward, which encompasses Penn’s campus.
Gray said he does not plan on running for any political positions in the near future.
“I’m just trying to start a career [in business], and that’s what I’m focused on,” he said.