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      Local candidate hopes to encourage students into politics

      Students at Ottumwa High School might have been wrapping up their school year on Wednesday, but they are still learning valuable lessons about their community.

      Blake Smith, who is running for state house district 81, spoke to students all-day Wednesday about the importance of being involved in your community and politics.

      Smith was speaking to students in Mr. Guest's government class.

      He says that he believes many young people are turned off by the political process, and that he wants to change that.

      â??Using myself as an example; being a college student, a young person in politics, I want to give them a good reason on why they should. I want to give them a first hand perspective. I told them, here are the reasons, here is what we are doing, here is what you can do in the future,â?? said Smith.

      Smith told KTVO that he tries to use what he has learned in his campaign, to inspire students.

      â??Young people need to be involved, and I think a lot of the reasons why we have so many problems now, is because they are not talking to someone in my position, and giving them my two cents. I think that it is important in getting them educated on politics from someone who is doing it first hand,â?? said Smith.

      Smith is running against Rick McClure in the republican primary for house district 81.

      McClure is scheduled to have an event this Saturday at 3 p.m. at the VFW in Ottumwa.

      The winner of that race will go on to run against incumbent democrat Mary Gaskill in the general election.