When junior Jacob Hooper approached local attorney Andrew Fink after a GOP meeting last fall, he had no idea he would become his campaign manager. Hooper had been involved in local politics as a member of Hillsdale College Republicans and found himself agreeing with Fink’s stances toward small-government principles and fiscal responsibility.
Fink, who later declared his candidacy for Michigan’s 58th House District, named Hooper his campaign manager in December, and the two quickly bonded through something far removed from public policy: music.
“Andrew and I debated over our very different tastes in music. Andrew really likes obscure 70’s music like the Allman Brothers, the Flying Burritos, and a few cool bands like ZZ Top while I like contemporary music like Bruno Mars, J. Cole, and Travis Scott,” said Hooper.
This bonding ensured a secure partnership which would ultimately contribute to Fink’s victory in the August primary.
A political campaign, much like any workplace, can have its fair share of adventure. Hooper brought up several notable moments from his time on the campaign trail, ranging from meeting the son of a Detroit Metro area congressman to visiting one of the largest private firearms collections east of the Mississippi — which included an underground shooting range and a rifle used during the American Civil War.
Beyond that, Hooper learned valuable lessons through his summer of campaign work, such as the importance of communication, outreach, and not taking political attacks personally. Both Hooper and Fink signed the Hillsdale College Honor Code as students, which they took seriously when conducting the campaign.
“When we sign this code, we carry it with us for the rest of our life,” said Hooper. “I can proudly put my name behind Andrew Fink and the campaign we ran.”
Hooper also stressed his desire to thank the individuals who made his job successful, including Fink, the campaign social media manager, and supporters of Fink’s campaign.
Ben Wilson, a volunteer for the Fink campaign and a good friend of Hooper said he worked incredibly hard this past summer.
“He spent countless hours talking to voters about important issues and did an impeccable job leading the campaign,” Wilson said. “Jacob’s dedication to the Fink campaign shows his love and devotion to freedom and liberty, and that he’s willing to fight hard for his values.”
Fink shared these sentiments. “Jacob was intrinsic to the success of my primary campaign. His steady work ethic, energy, and integrity were beyond his years … we couldn’t have asked for a better first-time campaign manager, and we know Jacob will knock anything out of the park he sets his mind to, especially in politics.”
When asked about his plans for the future, Hooper said he is attending the Washington-Hillsdale Internship Program in the Fall semester of 2020, but he has not turned his eye away from Michigan. “In a few years, I would love to work on another campaign, especially if it is in the Hillsdale area. I know the streets around here better than my own home in Grand Rapids. Hillsdale became a second home for me this summer, and I hope to keep it like that for years to come.”