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Tufts E-News --Recent Grad Flexes Political Muscle

Tufts E-News --Recent Grad Flexes Political MuscleJust weeks after his graduation, Joseph Coletti is already getting a taste of political life as a “Governor’s Fellow” for the Massachusetts GOP. Medford/Somerville, Mass.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [06.16.04] Less than a month ago, Joseph Coletti was finishing his senior year at Tufts. Now the political science major is putting his education to work staffing a major political campaign. The Tufts graduate - recently named a "Governor's Fellow" - is flexing his political muscle through a newly created Massachusetts GOP initiative that enables young Republicans to manage campaigns for senators running against incumbent Democrats.

"There aren't any classes you can take that tell you what actually goes on in a campaign," Coletti - a 22 year old New Jersey native - told the Milford Daily News. "You pretty much have to learn by doing it."

Coletti was one of 20 people selected from a national applicant pool for a prestigious five-month "Governor's Fellowship." The fellows, which range from ages 22 to 27, are paired with critical political campaigns.

According to the Boston Herald, the GOP looked for candidates with high academic achievement, self-motivation and entrepreneurial spirit.

"[Coletti is] a bright, energetic kid who is committed to seeing the governor's reform agenda implemented," James Coffey - whose Hopkinton senate campaign Coletti is working on - told the Daily News.

Coletti - who turned down several graduate schools to accept the position - was a great candidate for the job. Having served as public relations director and chairman of the Student Elections Board, and trustee representative for the Tufts Community Senate, the Tufts graduate comes armed with valuable political experience. He also played on the varsity soccer team.

Top GOP officials are hopeful that with the help of "fresh-faced activists" like Coletti, the party could begin to overcome the Democrats' stronghold on Beacon Hill, reported the Boston Herald.

"We are clearly the underdogs," Republican Party Chairman Darrell Crate told the Herald. "We need folks who are going to be able to help run these campaigns."

John Bonnanzio, another senate candidate, agreed.

"They're posting these guys in districts where they feel we have a best chance," Bonnanzio told the Daily News.

Coletti - who will be given free housing and a stipend for the fellowship - said he is enthusiastic about the challenging position.

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me," he told the Daily News.

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