I’ve been obsessed with politics since a very young age, and I think Jake started even younger than me, so the Keystone Politics team has nothing but respect and encouragement for young political operatives. Looking back though, I think both of us would probably say the political skills we’d developed by our late teens were not fully ripe, and probably still aren’t.
That’s not to say no teenager could run a political campaign well, but it does comes as a quite a surprise that Brendan Boyle has chosen 20-year-old Temple University student Ann Mathew to run his primary campaign for the hotly-contest 13th District House seat.
I first learned Ann was
managing coordinating the Boyle campaign from Nick Field’s article on the pissing contest the Boyle campaign tried to start with Daylin Leach over who first proposed the Pay It Forward higher-ed finance bill:
managercoordinator Ann Mathew said his legislative staff had been working on the proposal for months.
“Rep Boyle and his staff have been working on this ‘Pay It Forward’ proposal since June. They also first contacted the Legislative Reference Bureau in early July, before anything from Daylin,” said Mathew. “Nonetheless, we welcome Sen. Leach’s new interest in this topic.”
I hadn’t seen Ann’s name before, so I looked into her background a bit and quickly discovered that she’s only 20 – born just recently in 1992. That seems pretty young to be running a US House campaign!
While there’s no doubt Ms. Mathew’s political skills must be very impressive for her young age, we do have to wonder why Representative Boyle’s campaign has been unable to attract a more experienced
campaign manager political hand with a few more House campaigns under her belt.
Is looks like Rep. Boyle had some DC consultants grooming him for a little while, but they may have pushed him out of the nest a little prematurely. He was left in the capable hands of Finance Director Meghan Meehan-Draper, who served the Boyle campaign for two months from June 2013 until the end of the fundraising quarter in July 2013, and then promptly bolted for the Allyson Schwartz campaign.
Evidently the exodus of more experienced staffers has left 20-year-old Ann Mathew in charge.
Maybe she’ll do a great job, or maybe she won’t, but for all the endorsement Rep. Boyle has received from the various arms of the Bob Brady political machine, it seems strange that the Brady Bunch hasn’t been able to find an experienced
campaign manager operative willing to work with Boyle.
Update: PoliticsPA has since updated their story. Evidently Ann Mathew’s title is actually “campaign coordinator”:
An earlier version of this report listed Ann Mathew’s title as campaign manager. Her title is and has been campaign coordinator.