The Washington Post

How to become a Republican elected official without really trying. Like, at all

Who says college kids aren't politically engaged?

College. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

We’re going to give Rutgers undergrad Asad Asif a gold star for defying the millennial stereotype, because not only did he vote in New Jersey's June 3 primary, he also took the initiative to write in the name of a candidate for the obscure, wide-open Old Bridge's Ward 6, District 7 committeeman position.

The thing is, Asif wrote in his own name ... and won.

Just like that, Asif, at the age of 19, became a Middlesex County Committee member, and a Republican one at that, according to the New Brunswick Times.

"It was kind of like the 'Mickey Mouse vote,' where people write in stupid names when they vote for president," Asif told the Times. "I wanted to do the same thing, and since there was no real candidate in the slot, I decided to write myself in."

Asif told the newspaper that he's not affiliated with any political party; thus, the Times said, he may not "entirely believe in the position he has accepted."

With the new job, he will be a voting member of the Middlesex County Republican Organization (MCRO) and Old Bridge Republican Committee, both of which are responsible for endorsing state and local candidates.

The Middlesex County Committee has more than 1,000 seats and only about half of them are filled, which allowed Asif to slide right in.

Asif, who is a Muslim, said he's more interested in working in religious and charitable organizations. And he told the Brunswick Times that when he asked to be sworn in on a Quran, employees at the Old Bridge Town Clerk gave him "dirty looks."

On the bright side, at least one member of the committee seems to be open to the presence of some younger blood, the Times reported:

Meanwhile, only seven members make up the Republican committee including a couple who won by writing themselves in, according to New Brunswick Republican Organization President Joy Sheehan.

"It would be good if we could grow and get a presence in the Rutgers community. We'd love to have more college kids involved," said Sheehan.

Abby Phillip is a general assignment national reporter for the Washington Post. She can be reached at On Twitter: @abbydphillip



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Next Story
Chris Cillizza · June 25, 2014

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.