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Meet Your 2021 Governor Candidates

By: Shelby Swanson

Amir Shaheen

Amir Shaheen, the current Speaker of the House, is running for Governor this year. If elected Governor, Shaheen, a delegate from Cape Fear Academy, intends to fulfill two main promises to the delegates of NC YMCA Youth and Government.

First, Shaheen would like to serve as the voice for all delegates. He promises to listen to the problems of all NC Y&G attendees and act upon their wishes. “I promise that I will be your voice on the stage. I will be the one to listen to you and improve upon our program in innumerable ways. With your help and support, and under my leadership, we can bring this program to all new heights never seen before,” says Shaheen.

Second, Shaheen insists that he will serve as Governor with fairness in mind. He promises to “be an objective, fair source of support within Governor's Cabinet, by only ruling upon fact, and the plausibility of the bills proposed.”

Shaheen also has some changes he would make to Y&G if elected Governor. He wants to make Pre-Conference more productive, create more cooperation between the Legislative and Judicial branches and acquire more state funding for NC Y&G. 

When asked what characteristics he would bring to the role of Governor, Shaheen states that his motivation and determination would make him successful. “I am persistent and motivated. If I recognize that something needs to be accomplished, whether it be in helping others, writing speeches, or instigating changes, I will fulfill my obligations and duties despite any boundaries or obstacles that lay within my path.”

Connor Cabot

Connor Cabot, a current Presiding Officer in the Senate, is also running for Governor. If elected Governor, Cabot plans to bring “resilience to create a better environment, whole-hearted dedication, and optimism” to the position.

Cabot’s NC YMCA Youth and Government experience includes time spent in the Forum, House, and Senate during his freshman and sophomore year. This, according to Cabot, gives him “a grassroots perspective on both the strengths and weaknesses of the program.” He will use this experience to inform his actions and decisions as Governor.

Cabot wants to bring changes to NC Y&G. He wishes to start a Model United Nations program for middle schoolers in order to “provide a chance for future delegates to get involved in the democratic process.” He also wants to send bills that pass the Governor’s Cabinet to the North Carolina General Assembly. “Not only will this reward the hard work of the bill authors, but it will also provide a chance for their bill to be part of state law in North Carolina,” says Cabot.

Cabot possesses a strong passion for NC YMCA Youth and Government. To him, NC Y&G means more than just high schoolers convening to learn about how to pass laws. To him, it’s “about finding a new passion for something you never would’ve thought possible. It’s about making relationships with people that you would have otherwise considered strangers. Youth and Government is a life-changing weekend that has fundamentally shaped my growth as a person.”