Youngest Republican delegate gets convention for his 18th birthday

  • Texas Sen. Ted Cruz gets a picture taken in March with Carl Miller of Downers Grove at Abbington Banquets in Glen Ellyn. Miller will serve as the youngest Republican delegate at the party convention this week in Cleveland.

    Texas Sen. Ted Cruz gets a picture taken in March with Carl Miller of Downers Grove at Abbington Banquets in Glen Ellyn. Miller will serve as the youngest Republican delegate at the party convention this week in Cleveland. Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 7/18/2016 6:55 PM

If the election were held today, Republican convention delegate Carl Miller of Downers Grove couldn't vote in it.

Lucky for him, he turns 18 on Friday, a day after Donald Trump is set to accept the Republican nomination for president. Miller will be there to see it.

 

"I couldn't ask for a better birthday present," he said.

After grabbing headlines last year for his bid to meet as many presidential candidates as he could, Miller was picked by the state Republican Party as an alternate statewide delegate to the Cleveland convention. On Sunday, he was driving there with his grandfather.

As the youngest Illinois delegate, does he have some particular role to play?

"It's a humbling experience," Miller said. "I really want to do this so I can serve the party and more importantly serve our country and advance the conservative principles I believe in."

Miller left for Cleveland Saturday on a road trip that is more presidential than most.

The Ohio stops included: The Warren G. Harding home in Marion, the James Garfield home in Mentor and Garfield's grave. And they hoped to hit up a William McKinley site in Canton Sunday if there was time.

"It really enhances the experience to learn the history," Miller said.

Trump wasn't Miller's first choice -- he's a fan of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz -- but he'll vote for Trump in November.

"I want to share this experience with as many voters as I can," he said.

"I want to defeat the Democrats in November more than anything."

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