06/21/12 During the last presidential election, Plymouth resident Jason Pickell was fascinated as he watched the broadcasts of delegates at the Democratic convention cast their votes. Now, Pickell will get to not only see the process up close, but participate in it.

As a representative from Marshall County at the Democratic Party state meeting in Fort Wayne last weekend, Pickell was named as an Indiana Democratic delegate to the national convention. He will be heading to Charlotte, NC over the Labor Day weekend along with thousands of delegates from all over the United States.

Pickell, 2012 Plymouth High School graduate, will turn 19 on June 25. He is the youngest delegate to ever be selected from Marshall County.

Pickell spoke of his belief that young people need role models as he asked those at the state convention to give him one of three spots for males to the national convention. He said, “I am one of the most steadfast supporters of President Obama.” He added, “I believe that it is vital for the Democratic Party to send young people to the convention.” “Not for the purpose of replacing the “old guard”, but rather to inspire my generation to take action. To let them know that they truly have the ability to change things if they simply got involved.” he said. Speaking directly to being a role model himself, Pickell said, “We need to embolden my generation to have the desire to ask the hard questions and to take action when they see injustices. They need role models.” He added, “In the upcoming election, young people are going to play one of the most vital roles. Therefore, the time is ripe for the Democratic Party to create some role models. And I believe that I can be one of these role models.”

One of his biggest supporters, his father Bob Pickell, was also a state delegate for the first time.

Michelle Livinghouse, Marshall County Democratic vice-chair, said Pickell had given an impromptu speech at the annual Jefferson-Jackson dinner held earlier this year. She said, “Everyone was impressed.” She said he then went on to contact all of the county chairs and send letters to supporters.

She said, “Jason was the last one to give his speech at the state meeting, even following some who had been active in the party for 50 years.” “He was very polished and articulate.” said Livinghouse. “He has been active for so long in the Democratic Party, that he really knows the inter workings.”

Pickell isn’t ruling out a career in politics in his future, but says he will start at the local level and then work his way up. He said he first became interested in the political world when his fourth grade teacher had the class study current events. In high school, he delved into the Jr. State of America Club and honed his speech skills as a member of the PHS Speech and Debate Team. In 2011, he won a bid to the NFL (National Forensic League) finals.

He will be entering Ball State University to study political science.

Pickell sad, “It’s a dream come true it’s a huge honor.”

Carol Anders Correspondent