You would expect the Orange County Young Republican of the Year to be young. But Jordan Bell would surprise you. He’s being honored at Temple Hill Tavern on Feb. 22.
Jordan’s foray into politics began last summer when he called Sen. Larkin’s office and said he’d love to get involved. “Where do you go to school?” he was asked. When Jordan said “Cornwall” the person on the other end was surprised. He assumed he was talking to a college student.
That’s what’s newsworthy about Jordan’s selection. He’s the youngest person to ever receive the award. His interest in politics started with the 2008 Presidential election. By middle school, he was reading the news every day. In high school, he was elected class president four years in a row.
A few weeks after his phone call, Jordan met Sen. Larkin and other members of his staff. “They made me feel like one of them,” Jordan recalled. “I was a volunteer but I felt like someone who was getting paid.”
Jordan became the Director of Outreach for the re-election campaign. Using a computer system, he dialed thousands of potential voters. Some hung up. But others had positive things to say about the candidate.
As new volunteers joined the campaign, Jordan showed them how to use the computer. He also assembled “Vote for Larkin” signs and distributed them to supporters.
“Probably, the coolest part of the campaign,” he said, “was going to the fund-raising events.” He attended one at Billy Joe’s Ribworks and another at Anthony’s Pier 9, where he met some individuals with recognizable names. “You read about them in the paper,” he said, “and then you actually meet them and they’re very nice people.”
And the celebrities had an interest in the teenager. “They were fascinated to know what motivated me, and where I plan to go next,” he said. “They also gave me tons of advice.”
School closed early on Election Day, so Jordan joined a bunch of volunteers who covered the entire district on foot. Then, in the evening, they gathered for a buffet at the Temple Hill Tavern, and watched the returns as they were projected onto a screen.
“It was an amazing experience,” Jordan said during an interview in school. “I never thought I would be so involved. And I never thought about getting an award. It was great to be right in the middle of everything, helping someone I believed in.”