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UNH student’s ‘Draft Scott Brown’ petition soars in popularity

Contributing Writer

Published: Friday, December 6, 2013

Updated: Friday, December 6, 2013 02:12

When senior Jeremy Baker returned from class Monday afternoon, he was stunned to find his email inbox flooded with messages from The Washington Post and other various political news sources asking to speak with him.

A few days before, Baker, 22 and a UNH senior, had created a blog on Tumblr including a petition for former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown to run for Senate in New Hampshire. To Baker’s surprise, the petition’s popularity skyrocketed overnight, attracting a large amount of supporters and earning his blog attention from national news sources and political sites across the web.

Last April, Scott Brown hinted at his possible candidacy in the Granite State’s senate election. After speculation seemed to quiet down, Baker, an avid supporter of Brown, created the blog entitled “Draft Scott Brown” just this past week. Despite having little previous experience in the political field apart from being a member of the UNH College Republicans and volunteering in some 2012 presidential election campaigns, Baker decided to take his involvement a step further, due to his dissatisfaction with current political figures.

“I enjoy watching people fight for the ideals that I believe in,” Baker said. “I had only heard a little buzz about the subject here and there and wanted people to start talking about it more. A blog seemed like a good idea. I’ve always been politically up-to-date but this is by far the most active I’ve ever been.” 

After posting the link on his Facebook page, Baker watched the number of signatures climb from a relatively low number in the petition’s first few days to extraordinarily high numbers over just a short period of time. Although he currently wishes to withhold the exact numbers, Baker said that the page has attracted a huge amount of names to the list, far beyond what he had expected.

“The petition has totally blown up,” Baker said. “Every time I sign on there are at least a few new signatures. It’s been pretty awesome and I’m surprised but at the same time I’m overwhelmed with happiness.”

Baker was soon contacted and interviewed by Washington Post reporter Jennifer Rubin, who praised Baker for his efforts, referring to him as being “for real.” He was also interviewed by James Hohmann, reporter for political news website Politico, and mentioned on a popular news aggregation site, The Drudge Report.  Several fellow Brown supporters also contacted Baker, offering a helping hand to his grassroots movement. 

“Jeremy is really passionate about what he believes in,” Mitch Ewing, friend and former resident of Baker during his time as a resident assistant last year in Williamson Hall, said. “I think this is a great accomplishment for him. It’s not something that happens easily.”

In his blog, Baker said that he considers Scott Brown to be “a man that will represent New Hampshire by listening to the voice of New Hampshire citizens, not party big wigs,”  referring to Brown’s bipartisan views as one of his most important political traits. 

Baker was later contacted via email by Scott Brown himself, who thanked him for his support but did not allude to a decision of whether or not he will actually be running in the election. While he anxiously waits for more word, Baker plans to keep an eye on his petition and to keep pushing for more signers, hoping that the high demand will help influence Brown’s choice.

“I think Scott Brown is someone that we should have representing New Hampshire because I think he would be willing to do what it takes to keep the government running and do what’s best for the people,” Baker said. “Hopefully people keep signing the petition.”

Although he switched his field of study from political science to biomedical science during his sophomore year, Baker said that he would like to continue to participate in politics in the future.

“I think that if I put some more time into it and really figure out how everything works I could build a future for myself in this field,” Baker said. “I picked up on this pretty quick and I hope to build on it.”

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