Local man attends convention

Ask most adults what they recall watching on TV back when they were 6 or 7 years old and they'll probably name their favorite cartoons, followed by some more cartoons, followed by more of the same.

There are exceptions, of course, and Carson Bruno, a 2005 Avonworth grad, would be one of them.

Now 26 and a 2009 graduate of Washington and Lee University -- where he earned his bachelor of science degree, majoring in accounting and business management politics, followed by a 2012 master’s of public policy degree from Pepperdine University -- Carson said that politics "… always has been a part of my life. I remember watching Bill Clinton's inauguration in 1992."

His credentials, coupled with his interest and enthusiasm, earned Carson the opportunity to attend this year's Republican convention, where he participated in a political process usually reserved for those who are decades older.

"My selection as a guest goes back to September of 2011. I have been a supporter of Gov. Romney since his presidential campaign in 2007/2008, so when he jumped into the race again last spring, I was eager to find a way to get involved with his campaign."

That opportunity arose when MSNBC teamed up with the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, CA to host a Republican primary debate. When the Reagan Library approached Pepperdine's School of Public Policy to recruit students to act as interns for the debate, Carson volunteered.

That led to him volunteering with the Romney campaign in Las Vegas over winter break.

Carson remained in touch with the campaign, and in July, in his capacity at the Hoover Institution -- a public policy "think tank" located at Stanford University, where he has worked since May as a research analyst -- he wrote an op-ed for the "San Francisco Chronicle," defending Romney's jobs proposal. His focus on economic research and national and statewide electoral analysis caught the party's attention, and following the release of that article, the California delegation invited him to join them in Tampa.

"I was invited to all of the California events and all convention sessions simply to enjoy the festivities and act as a spectator." For Marco Rubio's and Mitt Romney's speeches, he was seated next to Karl Rove, whom he describes as being "… a fantastic person and a genuinely nice man."

Carson said that his political philosophy has evolved over time. "My father, the late Raymond Bruno, definitely played a large role in molding my initial political philosophy. A hardworking entrepreneur, my father never asked for anything, but was always willing to lend a hand. He was never afraid to speak his mind about politics and in that regard, I am definitely my father's son".

Carson describes himself as being a "pragmatic conservative," which he describes as one who "…still believes in the conservative 'three-legged stool:' national security, along with fiscal and social issues, but is focused less on ideological doctrine and more on the principle of government's role to foster liberty and protect its national interests."

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