June 19 2008
TERRE HAUTE -- Hoosier Boys State delegates selected a governor from Bedford and a lieutenant governor from Seymour Wednesday afternoon (June 18) during the event being held at Indiana State University.
More than 600 high school boys from throughout Indiana are taking part in Hoosier Boys State, the annual exercise in democracy and civic involvement sponsored by the American Legion Department of Indiana.
Seventeen-year-old Ian Duncan of Bedford was elected governor of Indian Boys State.
Duncan, who will be a senior at Bedford North Lawrence High School in the fall, said he was not the original candidate.
"I was the backup for the original candidate who decided to bow out," said Duncan, the son of Sean and Laura Duncan.
Duncan's campaign goals and issues focused on the National Party in the sense of "bringing unity among the party." Although he originally had no intentions of running for governor, it was not until he arrived a few days ago that he decided it was the right choice.
"As I spoke to more and more people within my community, it became clear that a majority felt that I was the best candidate for this position," Duncan said.
With one year left in high school, the newly named governor has his sights set on a college career at Notre Dame majoring in political science. Duncan said that a career in politics is definitely in his future.
"My ideal job would be to become a senator at the national level, maybe even someday running for governor," said Duncan.
Duncan went on to explain what an amazing experience he has had thus far at Boy's State.
"Before I arrived here, I thought we would just be attending boring classes all day," said Duncan. "After I got here, I have had the absolute best time. I got to learn about how the government works and the skills and requirements it takes to become an elected official. Overall, it was an awesome experience."
Seymour native Joe Rust was elected lieutenant governor of Indiana Boys State Wednesday (June 18) at Indiana State University. This determined 17 year old said the most important thing that inspired him to run for office was his three older brothers.
"My older brother Alex ran for lieutenant governor in 2001 and won," said Rust, son of Silvia and the late David Rust.
Aside from the influence of his brothers, Rust said he has always been interested in politics and what it has to offer. His main goal is to get as involved as he can.
"I want to help other people," said Rust. "This is the perfect opportunity."
When Rust first arrived on Saturday, he said it was a bit slow and that he was unsure whether he would run for office or not. After just a few days of meeting people and getting a feel for this mock government, Rust decided he was perfect for the job.
"There is no task too big," said Rust. "This experience has given me a great sense of achievement."
As newly elected lieutenant governor, Rust will preside over all governmental meetings and be in charge of nominating officials into the senate.
As far as his future is concerned, Rust said he has his eyes on Purdue University and is thinking about a major in agriculture.
Rust had much advice to give to future students interested in attending Indiana Boys State.
"Be aggressive. Never give up. If you run for a spot in office and lose, run for another position. Come ready to meet people," said Rust. "Don't be shy."
Other Boys State delegates elected to statewide office include Danny Michel of Indianapolis, secretary of state; Vince Hofmeister of Zionsville, state treasurer; Alex Sabol of West Lafayette, auditor; Aaron Mercer of Gary, attorney general; and Zach Sherwood of Indianapolis, superintendent of public instruction.
Hoosier Boys State will continue until Saturday, June 21, when the Hoosier Girls State begins.
More information about Boys State is available at www.hoosierboysstate.org.
Contacts: Susan Long, Americanism coordinator, American Legion Department of Indiana, 812-237-8121 or firstname.lastname@example.org; Steve Bowman, director, Hoosier Boys State, 812-237-8121; Jim Phipps, director of communication, 812-237-8121 (until June 20) or 765-720-3650 or email@example.com
Writer: Jennifer Spector, Indiana State University, media relations intern, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 812-237-3773
Cutline: Ian Duncan of Bedford was elected governor and Joe Rust of Seymour was elected lieutenant governor of Indiana Boys State Wednesday (June 18) afternoon. Photo/ISU Photo Services
Indiana Boys State delegates selected a governor from Bedford and a lieutenant governor from Seymour Wednesday afternoon (June 18) during the event being held at Indiana State University.