Teen politicos forge respect, friendship across the aisle

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By MEG KINNARD

Associated Press

BLYTHEWOOD, S.C. (AP) – As many decry the breakdown of civil, political discourse, two South Carolina teens are proving disagreement doesn’t have to equal disrespect.

Lauren McDowell describes herself on Twitter as a “queer feminist” and advises a Democratic congressional hopeful on LGBTQ-related issues. She founded a chapter of South Carolina High School Democrats at Blythewood High School, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) north of Columbia.

Politically active since middle school, Will Galloway volunteered for Republican Rick Santorum’s 2016 presidential campaign. At Blythewood, he started a South Carolina Teenage Republicans chapter and chaired the South Carolina Federation of Teenage Republicans.

But the political opposites have developed not only as leaders but also as friends. They say their relationship has given them insight on how working together can help achieve real political advancement.

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