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Nick Shalosky.

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School board member // 21 // Charleston, S.C.

NICK SHALOSKY's "little Facebook experiment," as he calls it, made him South Carolina's first openly gay elected official last fall. The College of Charleston junior was doing independent study on Internet technology and local campaigns when "I thought it would be interesting to see how students could use social networking sites to get one of their own elected." So when, two weeks before Election Day, he noticed no one was running for the open school board seat in his district, Shalosky jumped in as a write-in candidate, using Facebook to announce his candidacy to friends and other voters. That simple get-out-the-vote strategy was all it took to win.

The school board is certainly just a stepping stone for Shalosky, who grew up in Conway, S.C.,15 miles inland from Myrtle Beach. As secretary of his state's Stonewall Democrats chapter, he was heavily involved in last year's presidential campaign, volunteering for Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, and then Barack Obama, and questioning Republican candidates about gay rights at local events. He also ran the campaign for a county council candidate. After Shalosky graduates in 2010, he plans to go to law school, then practice advocacy law and "start building my political career from there."

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Title Annotation:Forty under 40: POLITICS; gay school board member
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2009
Words:212
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