When Kyle Rinaudo (SFS ’17) threw his cap in the air last May to signify the end of his undergraduate education, he had no idea he would soon be running to represent Georgia’s 35th District in the state House of Representatives. If elected, the 21-year-old Acworth, Ga. native would become the state’s youngest representative and first Democrat in nearly two decades to represent his community.
Lackluster job opportunities led Rinaudo to consider alternate career paths as he looked for professional ways to serve his community after graduation.
“The idea of making money for myself seemed very selfish of me, and none of what I had applied for really worked out,” Rinaudo said. “What I really wanted to do was get involved in campaigns here near my home.”
Rinaudo said that after asking around, he realized no one was running against incumbent Republican leader Rep. Ed Setzler, who has served the people of Acworth and Kennesaw for over 13 years. Setzler has run unopposed in the past several elections.
“Nobody was contesting [the seat], so I said I constitutionally am able, so I am going to do it,” Rinaudo said.
He credits both religion and his mother for initially pushing him to take leadership in his community.
“My principles and my policies were formed from two places,” Rinaudo said. “My church and my mother.”
Georgetown’s focus on Jesuit traditional beliefs also helped shape who he is today and his decision to run, Rinaudo explained.
“Whenever people ask me ‘What was your favorite part about Georgetown?’ it is the Jesuit community there,”…