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For South Jersey Teen, Attending GOP Convention Is Dream Come True

(Clarke Patrone, 13, got access to the Republican convention via his father, who is a staunch GOP supporter.  Photo provided)

(Clarke Patrone, 13, got access to the Republican convention via his father, who is a staunch GOP supporter. Photo provided)

John McDevitt John McDevitt
John McDevitt has been a reporter and editor at KYW Newsradio 1060...
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By John McDevitt

TAMPA, Fla. (CBS) — He’s not even old enough to vote, but a young man from Margate, NJ with a passion for politics is among those who attended the Republican National Convention in Tampa.

“This is really a unique experience — I learned a lot,” says 13-year-old Clarke Patrone.  He talked his parents into missing the first week of school so he could attend the GOP convention.

Patrone has been meeting politicians and collecting autographs on a pocket-sized booklet of the US Constitution.

“I had the opportunity to meet (Saratoga Springs, Utah, mayor) Mia Love, I asked her to sign my copy of the Constitution.  We saw (NJ governor) Chris Christie on the way back to our hotel room — he signed my copy of the Constitution as well.   It was a great experience.”

This eighth grader says he is excited about the Republican ticket — and he knows the issues.

“President Obama can’t run on his record.  He can’t win election with $16 trillion in debt, unemployment above eight percent.  I have to say, Romney-Ryan is going to win in a landslide.”

As for Clarke’s  future political ambitions, he says at this time he is more concerned about running on the track team than running for office.

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