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Less than a year after studying American politics in Stiteler Hall classrooms, Ken Fleuriet will be writing bills in a Texas statehouse. The 21-year-old University graduate won a seat in the Texas state House of Representatives Tuesday, becoming the youngest Republican ever to hold that position in Texas. He defeated Democrat Ken Medders by about 1300 votes for the 38th District seat in his home town of Harbingen, Texas. Fleuriet, a December 1989 College graduate, began his campaign several months before earning his International Relations degree. He took two independent study courses in Texas while on the primary campaign trail. Fleuriet said he has been interested in politics since high school, and political discussions with fellow University students honed his debating and analytical skills. He said he found plenty of students to argue with at the University, because of his conservative views. Fleuriet said last night that he based his campaign around his "youth and energy," adding that he is not part of the "corrupt, sleazy, old-boy system which has dominated south Texas politics for well over the past century." During his campaign, Fleuriet stressed his strong anti-drug views, saying that he will be drug dealers' "public enemy number one." His platform also called for increased funding for education in Texas school districts, and attracting new businesses and jobs to the area. Fleuriet said that he will not raise taxes. Sharon Mulholland, who works in the University Registrar's office, described Fleuriet as "self-effacing, but at the same time confident and wholesome." She said she is not surprised that he entered politics.

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