Conilyn "Coni" Poulsen admits she is not your typical teenager. Next month, when her friends are out swimming, dancing or listening to rock music, the 18-year-old Harrisville woman will be attending the Republican State Convention in Salt Lake City as a Weber County delegate.
Poulsen attended the local convention earlier this month and ran as a delegate. She won. And she admits that most teenagers don't get involved with politics, let alone vote.She said the group in this county with the lowest percentage of voter turnout is young people between the ages of 18 and 25. She not only votes, but she's involved.
The teenager said she tried to persuade her friends to attend the county convention, but they turned her down because she said they felt they would be bored.
"They don't think it's any big deal. I don't think that's right," she said of her peers. "I think we should be active in the political process."
Poulsen lives with her parents, Duane H. and Lou Poulsen, in the small community of Harrisville, located north of Ogden. Her father is the town's former mayor.
She is a freshman at Weber State College and is majoring in broadcast journalism.
Poulsen said she wasn't exactly sure if she was following with her parents choice of political party because they have never told her their affiliation. But she suspects they are Republican.
"They're (her parents) really excited," Poulsen said of her parents' feelings about her political involvements. "They're really proud of it. They didn't push me. I think it kind of surprised them.
"I got involved because I am really concerned about the future of Utah," she said. "I don't plan on making politics as a career, but I do plan on being involved."
Poulsen said she plans to remain in Utah and raise a family. She said being politically active can bring changes. And she said being political may involve her making a run for Harrisville City Council if she is still living there when she turns 21.
"I feel I would have a good chance (of winning) because my father was mayor in Harrisville," she said. "Plus I think I can get the young vote."
Born in 1969, when Richard Nixon was president, Poulsen said she likes the GOP because of its conservative stands.
She said that being conservative doesn't mean that women shouldn't get involved, for instance. She said she believes that in the future, wom-en will make strides within the party and eventually succeed in running for the top offices. She predicts that a woman will someday be governor of Utah.
"And I think that's great," Poulsen said.