News Category: LI's Conservative Leaders

LI-trained candidate for Maryland Senate defeats incumbent
LI-trained candidate for Maryland Senate defeats incumbent

“I could not just sit back and watch tax-and-spend liberals destroy my home state of Maryland,” the newly Republican-endorsed candidate for Maryland’s State Senate Michael Hough said.

On June 24 he beat Senate Minority Leader David Brinkley (R-Frederick), the incumbent, by more than 2 to 1 in the Maryland state senate district 4 primary election.

“I believe this race is important because Republicans in Maryland must have a clear contrast with the Democrats,” Michael said, “and we are hurt by politicians like Brinkley who claim to be conservative, but then vote for taxes and wasteful spending.”

His devotion to public service didn’t just begin; he’s been long at it.  

Advancing Conservatism through Business
Advancing Conservatism through Business

Ashlyn Adelman, the rising college junior at Bucknell University, has taken her Leadership Institute training into the world of business management.

“I believe conservatism is at the heart of business and I have found that many businesses agree with me,” Ashlyn said.  

She’s proof that conservative principles extend far beyond politics and policy.  And, she has found a way to apply her conservative beliefs to the field she is passionate about.

She’s currently a project coordinator intern at BrandPoint Services Inc., which is a property maintenance and property-based capital expenditure re-branding and re-imaging company.

Ashlyn attributes much of her growth as a conservative leader to an early mentor Peggy Grande, who “helped save me from the liberal California public education system’s indoctrination.” 

Alabama Pastor for Conservative Principles
Alabama Pastor for Conservative Principles

The 43-year-old life-long Alabama citizen Jody Trautwein, also a Leadership Institute graduate, is very active in his community.  He’s a father, pastor, former educator and candidate for local office.

“Psalm 11:3 states, ‘If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?’ Our religious liberty is under daily assault and we must fight to protect it,” Jody said.

Jody is an associate pastor at House of Grace Church and an ordained minister by the Fresh Oil Fellowship of Churches International.  He also serves as the director of operations for a statewide alliance of pastors, ministry leaders, and marketplace influencers called the Alabama Alliance for Reformation.

“The preservation of faith, family, and financial conservatism directly determines how well we will be able to protect our increasingly eroding freedoms as American citizens,” he said.

College Conservative Runs State GOP, Activating many into Politics
College Conservative Runs State GOP, Activating many into Politics

New Orleans will host the annual Republican Leadership Conference May 29-31. The Republican Leadership Conference has “become one of the premier Republican events in the country – it attracts key activists, consultants, elected officials and donors from across America,” conference organizer Charlie Davis, also a Leadership Institute graduate and faculty member said. Read on for his story.

Last weekend: Young Republican Leadership Conference
Last weekend: Young Republican Leadership Conference

This past weekend leaders from Young Republican clubs all across the country descended on the nation’s capital for the biennial Young Republican Leadership Conference, organized by the Young Republican National Federation (YRNF).

“Young Republicans (YRs) are the oldest political youth organization in the United States,” the YRNF website states. “Important to the growth of the Republican Party, the YRs reach out to registered Republicans, 18 to 40 years of age, and provide them with better political knowledge and understanding of the issues of the day.”

The YRNF Chief of Staff Rich Counts, also a Leadership Institute graduate, helped plan the conference with other executive board members and volunteers.

An Academic in Action Teaches Conservatism
An Academic in Action Teaches Conservatism

"I'm extremely proud of my time at the Leadership Institute,” said Young Conservatives Coalition President Chris Malagisi, also an adjunct professor at American University.  “It might be cliché, but Morton Blackwell and the Leadership Institute (LI) changed my life.  In the past decade, I have regularly interacted with LI staff both personally and professionally.”

Chris is president of the Young Conservatives Coalition (YCC), a Washington, D.C.-based young professionals’ leadership, educational, and networking organization. 

Beauty Queen Liberates Millennial Ladies
Beauty Queen Liberates Millennial Ladies

Classy fashionista Gabrielle Jackson shows beauty even in politics. “I can still remember my first Leadership Institute training as a 15-year-old in California,” Founder and President of The Millennial Solution Gabrielle Jackson, now 25, said. “My mom drove me two hours to Stanford University from my hometown in Sacramento after hearing about the Youth Leadership School training program.”

“Even at that age, I knew that politics was how I wanted to make the world a better place and I was hungry for training to use my passion and excitement to advance the conservative movement,” she said. Now, Gabrielle works in the Washington, D.C. area as the director of external partnerships at the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics.

Liberty Magic
Liberty Magic

Get off your butt and do something! Stop complaining about the size of government and be proactive about our problems. We can't afford to just sit around and talk philosophy with each other. If you want to make a change, stop reading and start doing,” Leadership Institute graduate Brandon Cestrone who is the northeast regional director for Young Americans for Liberty said.

“At some point books only become a crutch,” he continued. “People would rather read political theory than learn practical application. Don't make this mistake. Take what you learn and put it to action. That's where the magic happens.” 

Brandon Cestrone has made significant contributions to advancing liberty through youth activism. He’s helped start 50 college Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) chapters at universities stretching from West Virginia all the way to Maine. Read on to learn more about the YAL conventions in 12 states.

Arizona Stateswoman Makes Waves in the West
Arizona Stateswoman Makes Waves in the West

Being a woman in leadership is beneficial to the conservative movement, former Arizona State Senator and Leadership Institute graduate Lori Klein said.

“Women need to put themselves out front, get elected, and hold their ground as a conservative,” she said.

Lori has a powerhouse of experience with 18 years on Capitol Hill and seven years as the director of public relations for the Washington Times. Her most recent contribution was coordinating the Western Conservative Conference, which was held a few weeks back in Phoenix, Arizona.

Communist Escapee & LI Graduate Now Trains Conservatives Worldwide
Communist Escapee & LI Graduate Now Trains Conservatives Worldwide

Communism is real for Zeljko "Zed" Zidaric.

A Croatian by birth, he escaped communism and grew up in Canada.

“As an escapee from communism with family left behind in Croatia, I know firsthand what communism is about,” he said. “I heard from my family about the hardships and the fear.  I knew that communism was a flawed system that benefitted only a few.  I was fortunate to have escaped and felt that it was my duty to stand against communism and fight to defend the freedom that we in the West cherish.”

So he attended Royal Military College in Canada and became an officer. “I was fortunate that communism collapsed and I did not need to go to war, but I did volunteer to go and protect the new democracy in Croatia as it struggled to escape the shackles of the former communist Yugoslavia,” Zed said.

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