In June, New York State Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney defeated two rivals to win the Republican nomination for the 22nd Congressional District in upstate New York. She competes against Democratic candidate Kim Myers in the general election to be decided in November. Alex Klosner, a leader of the Alexander Hamilton Institute’s Undergraduate Program, decided to spend his summer working as a member of “the Claud Squad,” a group of young men and women under the age of thirty who joined the Tenney campaign.

AHI Undergraduate Fellow Alex Klosner with Congressional candidate Claudia Tenney

A native of Ilion, New York— which falls within the 22nd district—Alex decided to lend his support for the Tenney campaign because of his growing concerns about the fiscal condition of the country.  An economics major with a pronounced interest in politics and public policy, Alex stated that “the unprecedented levels of debt and rampant entitlement spending threaten the prosperity and livelihood of my generation. We need people like Claudia who will seek to reduce the size and scope of the federal government.”

Alex became involved with the Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization (AHI) in his freshmen year. Since then, he said, “the AHI has played a crucial role in my intellectual growth. From guest speakers to reading groups, my involvement with the AHI has prepared me for the professional world and opened doors.”  One of those door openings was his summer fellowship with the Charles Koch Institute last year. “I never would’ve been awarded this fellowship without support from the AHI over the past few years,” he stated.
Alex’s tasks at the Tenney campaign were varied and included those associated with a successful primary campaign. He made calls to voters, sent out mailings, distributed signs, worked on “Get Out the Vote” efforts of calling and reminding voters to get to the polls—and even walked in parades.

Alex’s local connection came into play. “As a resident of the Mohawk Valley, I can think of no better individual to represent the people of the 22nd Congressional District than Claudia Tenney,” he said, citing Tenney’s strong defense of the Second Amendment and opposition to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s SAFE Act. (The Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act has been described by the governor as the toughest gun control law in the nation.) “As a resident of the Village of Ilion, I understand the importance of Remington Arms to the region,” he stated.  [Tenney has] been endorsed by the Remington Arms Union and has been given an ‘A’ rating from the NRA and has received their endorsement.”

Tenney, who faces challenges in the general election from Democrat Kim Meyers, Libertarian David Pasick, and Upstate Jobs Party Martin Babinec, is admired by Alex also for her efforts in battling corruption. She was the first member of the New York State Assembly to call for the resignation of Speaker Sheldon Silver in 2012.  Silver was recently sentenced to a 12-year prison term on federal corruption charges.

Alex called the internship “a great experience” that allowed him to see “firsthand how Claudia represents the interests of her constituents and connects with members of the community. She’s an incorruptible fighter for the working class and offers a bold type of leadership the American people yearn for.”

This academic year, Alex has a full course load, but plans to continue to contribute articles to Enquiry, the AHI-sponsored student newsletter, and to remain actively involved in the Republican Club on campus. Of course, he will continue to participate in the upcoming events at AHI.  “Alex Klosner showed an interest in the AHI even before his admittance to Hamilton College,” said AHI Executive Director Robert Paquette.  “Yes, the AHI had a hand in his nurturing, but by dint of his own hard work and ability, he has put together an impressive resume of accomplishment. The AHI is quite proud of him.  He has a bright future ahead.”