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Youth and Government: 2023 Executive Candidate Profiles

by Tyler Beacham

Keep reading to learn more about the 2023-2024 executive officer campaigns.

Lieutenant Governor 

Equipped with the accolade of “Best Debater” in both his freshman and sophomore years, Dylan Lithgow is prepared to serve as lieutenant governor. His campaign is running on the principles of “[making] YAG fun and inclusive for everyone.” He hopes to make youth voices heard beyond YAG. “I want to inspire change, and I believe that at YAG we really have a chance to do that,” he said.
2023 Presiding Officer and Eagle Scout Cole Pollock, otherwise known as “Geicole”, strives to treat his role as lieutenant governor at YAG similarly to an insurance firm. No, he will not guarantee car and house insurance, however, he hopes to ensure security and reliability. He said he will strengthen communication within the program. “My goal is to make sure that everyone is aware of what’s going on,” he said.

Speaker of the House

As the sole Speaker of the House candidate, Mary Grace McCurdy, current budget analyst and clerk, is running on the principle of inclusion and outreach. “I want to create a program that every student in North Carolina will want to be a part of,” she said. ‘Run the Race with Mary Grace’ to see her changes put into action.

Chief Justice

Standing Associate Justice Mary Lowe Edmundson cited that her primary goals if she wins the chief justice position are expanding resources for the Court of Appeals, specifically to aid smaller delegations. “I am running on the principles of being a reliable leader and building relationships to create an even better YAG community,” she said.

“The Lifeguard Candidate,” Cameron Johnson, plans to hone his skills as a local lifeguard in the YAG Judicial System as chief justice. He is making it his priority to watch over the court of appeals and ensure safety and security for all. “How does being a lifeguard relate to YAG?” Cameron questioned, “As a lifeguard, I care for others and show respect to all.”

Current Justice in the Court of Appeals Madalyn Sinning is well involved in her school community and plans to get even more involved in YAG as chief justice. She serves as the secretary of her student council and vice president of the Music Honors Society. “I want to strive to create available resources for my delegates.” She left delegates with her mantra: “You’re winning if you vote for Sinning.”

Attorney General

Grace Fine wants to hone her longstanding interest in government to be YAG’s next attorney general. As the Secretary of the Student Government Association and President of the Debate Club at her school, she is hoping to take on leadership in a new form within YAG. Her love for government procedure has been apparent, even since the fourth grade, where she remembers constructing a case for Dr. Suess’s “Yertle the Turtle”.

Peyton Seymour, a junior at NRCA, plans to “do [her] best to serve this group.” She wants to ensure success within YAG responsibilities, while also overseeing an overall pleasant experience for delegates. “I want to ensure that 2024 will be a year to remember,” she said. “See more success with Peyton Seymour as Attorney General,” she advised. Easier contact with advisors and officers, support for freshmen and first years, and check-ins throughout the year, are on the docket of ‘to-do’s’ for current 

Making the All-Star round her freshman year, District Attorney Asmithaa Vinukonda is familiar with the role of attorney generals. She accredited those before her as her inspiration for her campaign.