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Home > J.C. Cartee: Summer in Hawaii

J.C. Cartee: Summer in Hawaii

November 8th, 2010

By J.C. Cartee

CONTACT:  David Halbrook
Patrick Henry College
(540) 441-8722

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Skydiving, surfing, and campaigning in Hawaii – Patrick Henry College sophomore J.C. Cartee shares his story of working in Hawaiian politics in summer of 2010.

Sophomore J.C. Cartee in Hawaii

This past summer, I had the privilege to intern with Cam Cavasso, US Senate candidate from Hawaii. He was victorious in the Republican primary, although he recently lost against incumbent Senator Daniel Inouye in November. I worked primarily as a speechwriter, but also assisted Cam at many events across the islands.

My contact with the Cavasso campaign was made following a speech I presented in a PHC speech competition. The recording of my speech made it into the hands of the campaign manager, and, with a lot of help from Aaron Kamakawiwoole and other PHC contacts, I was in Hawaii 48 hours after completing my last final.

God’s favor was incredible throughout my entire stay there. While I didn’t know anyone upon my arrival, God brought amazing people across my path who definitely made a lasting impact upon my life. And living on Kailua beach in a house with a swimming pool isn’t bad, in and of itself! Through church groups, people I met at various venues, soccer leagues, and people from work, I rapidly made a large network of friends.

Cartee (R) on the campaign trail for 2010 U.S. Senate candidate Cam Cavasso

Every day I’d be up at 5:00am to run on the beach; then I’d grab a bowl of cereal and catch the 6:10 bus into Honolulu. After an hour at the gym and a second breakfast, I’d be off to work. I would usually be in the office from 9am-4pm. After that, it was off to surfing, hiking, soccer, youth fellowship, or a plethora of other activities. The most epic of all my summer adventures was skydiving off the North Shore. If you ever get the chance to jump out of a perfectly good airplane, definitely take it!

However, I think my greatest adventure was the spiritual journey on which God took me during my time in Hawaii. Coming off a hard semester which had left me feeling spiritually dry, God filled me again over the summer, and I left Hawaii feeling recharged. Also, God gave me the opportunity to lead someone to Christ -- the best part of the summer, without doubt.

Working for Cam revolutionized the way I view politics. I had always viewed it as a game where the players were separated only by a different set of values. However, Cam’s heart for serving the Lord through politics changed my perspective. Though he has been in politics for almost twenty years, his purpose has not changed. He challenged Senator Inouye on a platform of free markets and Christian values.

"If you ever get the chance to jump out of a perfectly good airplane, definitely take it!"

The liberal arts approach at PHC equipped me well for the political work environment. I was able to adapt rapidly, and I enjoyed working the campaign. I will always be thankful that God chose to bless me with such an awesome summer in Hawaii.