Tristan May works to unseat Virginia incumbent


Photo courtesy of Tristan May

Jamie Stewart-Aday

If you talk to sophomore Tristan May enough, you will inevitably hear about his passion for politics. You will hear about his love of Jason Kander and John McCain, and his reservations about Cory Booker. And as of late, you will hear about his work as an intern for the congressional campaign of Democrat Jennifer Wexton, who is running to unseat Republican Barbara Comstock in Virginia’s 10th district.

May initially joined the campaign because it was the closest and most competitive race to him. Throughout his work, he has come to greatly appreciate Wexton and her campaign. “I really believe that Wexton is the best person to serve the 10th district, and that Congresswoman Comstock has failed her district,” said May.

How exactly has Comstock failed her district? “I mean she has literally voted with Trump 98 percent of the time,” May said.

May initially started his work for the campaign as a volunteer, knocking on doors and making phone calls almost every weekend. “I basically learned from experience, [and] by watching the Field Organizer of the Campaign HQ do his job,” he said.

The volunteer schedule consists of shifts: three on Saturday and two on Sunday. During a shift, a volunteer is assigned a “turf,” or an area of voters that the campaign wants to get in touch with. The volunteers then go door-to-door, talking to potential voters and recording their responses in a database.

May’s work as an intern consists of more. “I work as a kind of volunteer coordinator,” he said, “preparing the ‘turfs’ that people take out canvassing, teaching people how to phonebank and canvass, and entering data that people bring back.”

May’s leadership status is all the more impressive considering his age. “It’s pretty much exclusively college students and recent college graduates,” he said.

May’s hard work clearly paid off—Wexton won the election.