17-year-old from Virginia is youngest delegate at the RNC

Posted at 6:37 PM, Jul 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-20 20:36:50-04

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- With the political eye of the nation on Cleveland, Ohio, and the Republican National Convention, the youngest delegate on the floor of the Quicken Loans Arena is from Virginia.

John Salm is 17 years old and lives in Northhampton County Virginia, where he serves as the chairman of the county GOP committee. It is Salm's first time serving as a delegate to the Republican National Convention, but not his first time attending one.

"I had the opportunity to travel with my father to Tampa in 2012.  He was an alternate delegate for the Commonwealth of Virginia," said Salm during an interview with CBS 6.  "I thought it was very interesting. I got to meet a lot of great people, and I wanted to make sure I came back to Cleveland in 2016."

John Salm

John Salm, 17, from Northhampton County, VA is the youngest delegate at the RNC

During the first day of the convention, several members of the Virginia delegation, including former Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, attempted to get a roll-call vote during the candidate nominating process in an effort to block Donald Trump's nomination.

The effort failed, and Trump was officially nominated Tuesday. Salm was on the floor Monday during the tense moment of party discord.

"There was so much enthusiasm and energy on the floor at that time. That was definitely an interesting experience," said Salm, who said the Virginia delegation is now fully behind Trump.

Salm says he met Trump in person when the business mogul visited Norfolk several months ago. He said prior to that experience he was intrigued by the campaigns of Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Ohio Governor John Kaisch, but Trump won him over that day.

"When you see him through the internet or TV, you kind of get a persona of him," said Salm.  "But when you talk with him, he's very charismatic, he's very engaging, he makes you feel like you are the only person in the room.  He had a Presidential presence."

Salm was able to register to vote in the November election since he turns 18 before election day.  He said he's already voted in two primaries.

The RNC has confirmed that Salm is the youngest delegate at the 2016 convention; however, the 17-year old said he is seeing a lot of young faces at "The Q" in Cleveland.

"I'm proud to say the millennial generation is well represented in the Virginia delegation," said Salm.

The RNC is scheduled to last two more days. Vice presidential candidate Mike Pence will speak Wednesday night.  Donald Trump will address the crowd Thursday evening.