Local News

Wake County teen heads to inauguration

Posted January 7, 2009 11:18 p.m. EST
Updated March 9, 2009 5:12 p.m. EDT

— A Wake Forest Rolesville High School student will be attending President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration.

Holden McLemore, 15, will be attending the Jan. 20 event with other students invited to the Presidential Youth Inaugural Conference, a five-day program for high school students who have participated in previous political programs for teens like the National Youth Leaders Conference.

“It’s one of the most historic inaugurations ever – the first African-American. I’m glad to be there,” McLemore said.

McLemore’s journey to the inauguration began with a 2007 trip to Washington, D.C., when he was chosen for the National Youth Leaders Conference, which gives high school students a chance to meet and interact with lawmakers.

“He loves NASCAR. He loves football. He loves the beach, but politics is a year-round passion,” McLemore’s mother, Lisa McLemore, said.

Even though his parents were supporters of Sen. John McCain, McLemore waited for three hours to see Hilary Clinton when she visited Wake Forest during her campaign for the Democratic nomination.

The teen said he became very interested in politics during the hotly contested 2000 presidential election between Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Al Gore.

In high school, McLemore is freshman class president.

McLemore said he started to develop a love for politics when he was 8 years old.

“It’s just something I’ve always liked,” McLemore said.

The teen has another connection to politics. His grandmother, Jean Kelly, was the vice-chair of the New Hanover Republican Party during the years that President Ronald Reagan was in office.