The numbers weren’t quite in Mason Moore’s favor when the field of candidates for president pro tempore at American Legion Boys Nation were announced Saturday night.
Of the 11 candidates seeking their fellow senators’ vote on the first day of business at American Legion Boys Nation 2019, eight, including Moore, were from the Nationalist party. And four — Moore, Arkansas’ Gavin Michau, Alaska’s Alden Jerome and Arizona’s Alexander Diaz — came from the Adams section.
Moore admitted those numbers factored into his consideration on whether to run for the position. Ultimately, he made the right choice.
Moore edged New Hampshire Federalist Kyle Duffy 52-48 on the final ballot to win Boys Nation 2019’s first elected office.
“We were having some serious discussions about, do we want to run this many candidates? And we eventually decided that we did, and since we had multiple rounds of voting, it wouldn’t be a problem. We did have to work more quickly than we would have had to otherwise in the oncoming rounds of voting to ensure that the votes coalesced around a single candidate,” Moore said.
As president pro tempore, Moore will preside over the Boys Nation Senate until a vice president is elected Tuesday, and will do so afterward when the vice president is not available.
“I wanted to be able to do something that not only allowed me to have a wide range of latitude and influence on the floor, but also allowed me to preside over proceedings — I also have some experience in the area, so it was a pretty easy decision to go with something that allowed me to exercise parliamentary procedure,” said Moore, whose experience at Idaho Boys State included mayor, president pro tempore and lieutenant governor.
Secretary of the Senate
After the president pro tempore election, senators voted for the secretary of the senate. Wisconsin’s Manish Raj defeated fellow Nationalist Alden Jerome of Alaska on the final ballot, emerging victorious from a field of seven candidates.
“I chose (to run for) secretary because, quite honestly, I have not been too involved in government in my life. That’s just never been emphasized as an option,” Raj said. “But now, after Badger Boys State and currently at Boys Nation, I realize that government really is an incredible opportunity to show your involvement in something, that you can really make a difference in. And I think secretary is just the best way I can serve.”
The secretary maintains the journal of the Boys Nation Senate and examines all bills, amendments and resolutions.
The senators will elect a president and vice president Tuesday. Unlike Saturday’s elections, in which any number of nominees could be offered by each section, each party will select a presidential candidate and vice presidential candidate in convention.
More from Saturday
The senators took their oath of office and officially began submitting their bills and resolutions. That legislation can be tracked online at https://www.legion.org/boysnation/legislation.
The senators also received their committee assignments and met in committee for the first time. One committee covers bills that, in the U.S. Senate, would be assigned to the Agriculture, Nutrition, Forestry, Appropriations, Armed Services, Banking, and Housing and Urban Development committees; a second covers Budget, Commerce, Science, Transportation, Energy and Natural Resources issues; the third addresses all bills assigned to the Environment, Public Works, Finance, Foreign Relations, Government Affairs, Indian Affairs, and Intelligence committees; and the fourth considers Judiciary, Rules, Veterans’ Affairs, Health, Education, Labor, Pensions, Small Business, Ethics, and Aging. Committee chairmen are Nationalist Noah Horlacher of Utah, Nationalist Luke Takashima of California, Federalist Ethan Roos of Indiana, and Nationalist Samuel Osa-Agbontaen of Massachusetts.
Party chairmen were elected at party conventions, with Federalist Ahmad Alsheikh of New Mexico and Nationalist Juncheng Quan of Rhode Island earning their respective party nods.
The 2019 Boys Nation senators arrived at Marymount University on Friday to begin their “week that shapes a lifetime,” the vast majority arriving in the D.C. area by air but some of the closer senators arriving by car.
After checking in and receiving their room keys and shirts, the senators split into their sections — Adams, Jefferson, Madison and Washington — where section counselors introduced themselves and informed the senators what to expect in the week ahead.
Follow the happenings at American Legion Boys Nation 2019 here on legion.org and on social media using the hashtag #BoysNation2019.