Josh Blau, a Fort Hays State University senior and Hays native, is spending his summer and fall in North Carolina serving as campaign manager for state Rep. Linda Coleman, (D-Knightdale) who is running for reelection to represent District 39.
Blau, a political science major, is spending the summer developing a campaign plan and budget, but once the campaign season gets underway, he looks forward to "knocking on doors, calling people, just trying to get people to the polls," he said.
Other job responsibilities include setting up fundraising events, training volunteers and serving as a go-between for the staff and Coleman.
This internship is not Blau's first foray into political campaigns -- he helped with Kansas state Sen. Janis Lee's (D-Kensington) successful 2004 campaign.
Blau attributes much of his success and opportunities to FHSU's political science program.
"I've gotten lots of hands-on experience from the program, definitely," he said. "I missed out on a two-day training session and was able to make it up in two hours because it was mostly a review of what I had learned in one of my classes."
Blau has found that not being familiar with the area is his biggest challenge.
"I'm learning about the culture and North Carolina politics, trying to get the lay of the land. In Hays, I know who prominent members of the community are, who can answer my questions, and here I'm still learning those things," he said.
While Blau learns his way around, he is enjoying his position and he looks forward to the November election.
"Linda is a great candidate, easy to work for," he said. "I'm looking forward to an exciting campaign."