CHARLESTON – Lincoln County native Conrad Lucas was recently elected to become West Virginia's newest state chairman of the Republican Party, which at the age of 30, makes him the youngest state chairman in the country.
Lucas, who holds a bachelor's and doctorate degree from Vanderbilt University, a master's degree from Harvard University and a law degree from Tulane University, said politics has always been one of his hobbies.
In 1999, Lucas wrote a letter to David Tyson, who was the chairman for the state GOP at the time, about wanting to attend the Republican National Convention.
"I sent the letter and shortly after that, I got a phone call and was able to go to the convention," Lucas said. "After that, I was hooked."
Lucas worked as a volunteer for U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito at the age of 18 and then later worked as an intern for her and as the deputy press secretary. He chose to leave Capito's office in 2004 to continue with his education.
"I grew up in a political environment," Lucas said. "I've also lived in some of the most interesting political places while I was in school and afterward. If I wasn't doing this as my job, I would still be interested in politics—I've always considered it my biggest hobby."
Lucas said he recognizes the gravity of the coming election season regarding the future of West Virginia.
"I know I have the weight of my party, my state and my generation on my shoulders," Lucas said. "But, I'm committed to this and I'm throwing all my energy and time into it."
Lucas said the best part about his job is getting out of the office and spending time with other West Virginians.
"It's great to meet people and reconnect with old friends," Lucas said. "I get to travel the state and talk to people about our candidates and get them interested in the election."
Lucas said a lot of what he wants to do is to further develop the party's grassroots efforts and help raise money for the party.
"We need to help our candidates in the fall," Lucas said. "You've got to help get people to the polls because that is where it will count."
Lucas, who is an avid reader and SEC sports fan, also said history is one of his hobbies, and in 1995, he was a winner of the West Virginia Golden Horseshoe Award.
"West Virginia has such an amazing history," Lucas said. "I've been to every county and we are such a culturally diverse state—our history is extremely interesting. We need to value our history and our culture."
Lucas previously served as a policy analyst for an education think tank in New Orleans and as an attorney. He also co-wrote a travel guide titled "Europe Beyond Your Means: The Paris Edition" with William D. Norgard.