Sophomore fights for opportunities in government

Sophomore Chase Holcombe(left) stands at the state capitol Aug. 24 with Alabama Governor Kay Ivey and various other Student Government Association members for the college colors day proclamation. Holcombe is currently working as the SGA Chief of Staff to president Hugo Dante.

While some 18-year-olds imagine beginning their future career, sophomore Chase Holcombe started early in pursuing his in government.

The day before Holcombe turned 18, he ran for Florence City Council District Five in his hometown of Florence.

“Government is an important tool for any society, but can be a dangerous tool if left unchecked since governments tend to be inefficient, wasteful and self-serving,” Holcombe said “I have always had a desire to get involved in government to fight these trends. “

Holcombe said he fought a battle to get his name on the ballot. He had to get an attorney involved due to his birthday being the day after the ballot went public. Holcombe’s attorney cited a Federal Appeals Court opinion stating the government should consider him 18 the day before his birthday.

Holcombe said even though he lost to current Councilman Blake Edwards, he received over 40 percent of the vote.

“My future in government depends on a few different factors that cannot be determined until reelection comes back around,” Holcombe said. “I would not run for city council again for selfish gain. The factors that would determine my involvement, would be who (was) running against me and what projects were currently in place, at the time of reelection.”

Holcombe started UNA fall 2016 and is currently a sophomore economics major. He said he plans to graduate UNA in spring of 2020.

Junior Karina Cisneros Juarez said she has several classes with Holcombe.

“I can say that he always has a positive attitude,” Juarez said. “He is the type of person who is always involved and wants to give back to the community that he loves. That, in my opinion, is admirable.”

Senior Matt McGinnis said Holcombe is a friend of his.

“The passion Holcombe has that compels him to serve the university also makes him a wonderful friend,” McGinnis said. “He cares about those around him, and he genuinely wants to serve them and spend time with them. Whether it’s late night conversations about philosophy or simply grabbing a bite to eat, Chase is always up for some quality time with his friends.”

Holcombe currently serves in the Student Government Association as Chief of Staff. President Hugo Dante appointed Holcombe in April 2017.

Holcombe joined student government starting with Freshman Forum last year. Holcombe served as the vice president.

“I would say it certainly helped prepare me for a future in the SGA,” Holcombe said. “As Chief of Staff (this year), I have been able to continue serving students.”

Dante said Holcombe was his first choice for Chief of Staff.

“The greatest piece of advice I have ever been given is to surround yourself with individuals more intelligent and talented than yourself,” Dante said “Holcombe is a great reference when making tough decisions, and his reasoning and critical thinking skills help make every meeting far more efficient.”

Senior Alexandria Buttgeriet said Holcombe always conducts himself very professionally and is a powerful addition to SGA.

“He is a great example and works hard behind the scenes to manage his various duties,” Buttgeriet said. “I have been assigned to work with him on the Tuscumbia Task Force, and he keeps us updated as we look forward to partnering UNA with Tuscumbia.”

Holcombe is unsure of his future plans, but he said his experience in government will help him in whatever career path he decides.

“I have thought about getting my graduate degree in economics,” Holcombe said. “While doing so, I could influence public policy, put out studies, make policy primers and influence economic feasibility.”