“I’m going into my 38th year. Never once has our minority leader stood in front of us Republicans and told us how to vote,” Duprey said. “That has given me the flexibility to vote on behalf of what I believe is in the best interests of this district and my constituents on some very difficult issues in the past.”
Duprey voted for same-sex marriage, an issue that Brian Murray, a student delegate from Seton Catholic School, said isn’t a district issue, but more of a human rights issue. He also commended Duprey for voting against the NY Secure Firearms and Ammunition Enforcement (SAFE) Act of 2013 that became law earlier this month.
“She’s protecting civil liberties,” Brian Murray, said of Duprey after she addressed the delegates. “She’s willing to listen and she’s really representing the district. I think that’s good to hear. And she’s not partisan. She goes more off of what people in the district need than just the party line.”
Murray said he is active politically, participating in the Occupy movement in Plattsburgh, Burlington and New York City.
Caitlin Kozak, a senior at Chazy Central Rural School and vice president of the Student Council, said she recently sparked an interest in politics.
“I don’t know much about it, but I’m definitely interested in learning more,” Kozak said.
Even before the program was over, Kozak had already learned something new, she said.
“I learned that you definitely have to do what you believe is right because even though she’s (Duprey) with her party, she doesn’t always listen to what everyone else does.”
While some of the student delegates’ interest in government is purely academic, others are considering future careers in politics.
“I like seeing how the government decides what is best for its people,” said Justin Trombley, a junior at Northeastern Clinton Central. “I want to go into politics someday and maybe make a change in people’s lives. I think the best thing about politics, really, is what it can do for the people and that’s what I want to do.”