It's one year to the 2024 presidential election.
On Tuesday, ABC's "Good Morning America" will host a faceoff on the election outlook featuring the youngest Republican Party state chair opposite the youngest Democratic Party state chair.
The Republican is Alabama's John Wahl, 37, of Athens. The Democrat is Anderson Clayton, 26, of Roxboro, N.C.
The two will present opposing views on the status of the 2024 presidential election.
This will not be the first time for these two to square off. National Public Radio did a two-part show featuring these two in September 2023.
This is Wahl's second term as state party chair, and after his party flipped formerly Democrat office in the 2022 midterms, he wants more in 2024. The butterfly farmer from Athens in northern Alabama hopes to establish Alabama as a leader in the national Republican Party.
Alabama is a reliably red state, but that doesn't mean Wahl is resting on his laurels and ignoring the work ahead.
"I think it's easy to overlook Alabama across the board. We're a smaller state population-wise. We're in the Deep South, and there's a little bit of a stereotype about Alabama, that it is kind of a backward Southern state," Wahl said.
Wahl joins other Republican leaders in working for the addition of two rising demographic groups: young voters and black voters. These groups could sway elections in competitive races and help solidify party footholds in the 2024 presidential and congressional elections.
Wahl has his eyes on voters in the state's "Black Belt" region, southern Alabama election districts with larger black voting populations, who are represented by Democrats locally but who voted for former President Donald Trump in 2016 and 2020. He is also looking to increase GOP turnout among younger voters.
Anderson Clayton is a graduate of western North Carolina's Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., with a degree in journalism and political science. She works as a broadband analyst for Rural Innovation Strategies. She worked in Democratic campaigns in 2020 and 2022.
"I want people to see opportunity everywhere, and it shouldn't matter your ZIP code or where you're from. You should be able to experience and live in your community, but also have so many opportunities," Clayton said. "I think it's the message of the Democratic Party nationwide. I just don't think we've figured out a way to really tell that message yet," Clayton told National Public Radio.
Jim Zeigler is a former Alabama Public Service Commissioner and State Auditor. You can reach him for comments at [email protected].
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