Oklahoma delegate to Democratic National Convention is already a campaign veteran at 18

Putnam City North graduate Aaron Wilder has worked on congressional, gubernatorial and legislative races and wasn't even old enough to vote when selected as a delegate to the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
by Chris Casteel Published: September 2, 2012

Aaron Wilder won his delegate slot to the Democratic National Convention only after assuring Oklahoma Democrats that he'd be old enough to vote by convention time.

He is — Wilder turned 18 in March — and the Putnam City North High School graduate will be inside the Time Warner Cable Arena on Tuesday as part of the Oklahoma delegation when the convention opens.

Wilder, of Oklahoma City, is already a campaign veteran. He got his start in 2010, when then-congressional candidate Billy Coyle, a friend, asked for his help at the Oklahoma State Fair one day.

After that, he worked on former Lt. Gov. Jari Askins' gubernatorial campaign; and last year, he was an intern for Organizing for America, the group formed after President Barack Obama's election in 2008 to continue grassroots organizing and advocacy for Obama.

Now, while going to the University of Central Oklahoma, Wilder is working as the field director for Paula Roberts' campaign in Norman for the state House of Representatives; she is running against incumbent Republican Aaron Stiles.

“It's been a whirlwind of opportunity for me, and it just pulled me into the entire process,'' Wilder said Sunday.

Obama's re-election, Wilder said, is going to depend on “young people's vision for a better tomorrow.”

It is clear that the president is trying to court the youth vote as the Nov. 6 election nears. He visited the University of Colorado on Sunday, the latest in a series of campaign speeches on college campuses.

The election, Obama said in Boulder, is “going to depend on you registering to vote. It's going to depend on you showing up to vote.”

by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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