Samuel Hanrahan, of Tosa West, was chosen Tuesday as the “county executive” of “Mitchell” County at the Ripon College-oriented program, which teaches selected youth leaders from around the state about government, elections, and civic affairs. Only youth demonstrating academic success and leadership potential are chosen for the program.
Earlier in the week, a youth from Wauwatosa East, Alex Walker (the governor’s son), was elected mayor of one of the Badger Boys State cities. The next round of voting will involve state elections. Students — more than 800 from around Wisconsin — are also partaking in instructional courses involving speakers who are leaders in various professions. Another youth from East, Sam Schultz, was also chosen to attend the program.
Youth were formed into nine fictional counties named for historic Wisconsin politicians. Next, they will learn about and form a state government with elected representatives.
“This has been the greatest week of my life. I have made so many new friends,” said Hanrahan, in a press release put out by Badger Boys State officials, which focused on him. The release said he is active in soccer, wrestling, mock school board and a variety of other activities in Wauwatosa.
“Politics was very confusing to me prior to Badger Boys State,” Hanrahan said. “This week has helped me really understand the political process and how to become more involved within my community.”
The fictional Mitchell County that he now helms is named after John Lendrum Mitchell, a Civil War soldier and farmer who was a U.S. Senator, congressman, and state senator in Wisconsin in the late 1800s. Involved in the gas and banking industries, he was known for his philanthropy with veterans’ causes. He also had studied linguistics and in Europe, according to the Wisconsin Historical Society.
In case you’re wondering, yes, there’s a county “Walker,” among the nine, and its elected representative is Frederick Vogel, of Deerfield High School. But that would be Isaac Pigeon Walker, who was a United States senator from Wisconsin from the year the state was admitted as a state in 1848 until 1855. His older brother? He was Milwaukee mayor. And a founder of the city. Not to mention that George Walker built the city's first street car line.