Jefferson County teen serves as West Virginia delegate at Democratic National Convention

Commissioner Dale Manuel says Hannah McCarley is the youngest delegate in the state's history

September 06, 2012|By RICHARD F. BELISLE |
  • Hannah McCarley
Submitted photo

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. — Hannah McCarley turned 18 this week and celebrated the occasion Wednesday night as the West Virginia delegate at the Democratic National Convention who nominated President Obama for a second term.

A Washington High School senior, McCarley, representing the 44 West Virginia convention delegates, said in her nominating speech:

“Madame Secretary, my name is Hannah McCarley. I turned 18 this week and I am proud to be part of the youngest delegation ever from West Virginia. Our young people are committed to being part of the Democratic team that will make our future bright. Our delegation is proud to cast our 44 votes for President Barack Obama.”

Asked in a telephone interview Thursday if she was nervous, she said, “It was nerve wracking, but I didn’t stutter.”

She was named a convention delegate at a Jefferson County Democratic Committee caucus earlier this year and again later at the State Democratic Committee Convention, Jefferson County Commissioner Dale Manuel said Thursday.


“She’s the youngest delegate in the state’s history,” Manuel said.

“I never expected to be named a delegate,” said McCarley, the daughter of the Revs. Phil and Melanie McCarley of Mildred Street in Charles Town. Her parents were in Charlotte, N.C., for the convention.

Asked if U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Democratic West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin snubbed President Obama by boycotting the convention, McCarley said, “They’re playing politics. It’s not to their benefit in their own elections, but I don’t think it’s intended to be a slap in the face. It’s not what I would do.”

McCarley said she’s going to look at colleges beginning next week. She plans to pursue a degree in psychology or visual arts.

“I’ve always been interested in public policy,” she said when asked if she saw politics in her future.
She is a member of her high school swim team.

“Hannah is an exceptional student,” said Derek Hughes, a Washington High School teacher who taught McCarley in Advanced Placement world and U.S. history classes last year. “She passed both AP tests with good scores. She’s hard-working, always challenges herself and won’t settle for second best.”

Washington High Principal Judy Marcus called McCarley “a very involved student.” McCarley served as a page in Charleston and is serious whenever she takes educational leave, Marcus said.

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