Political Swing



Feb. 25, 2014

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By Bill Morrison

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) -- Every morning while most kids were focused on cartoons or battling with their parents about getting out of bed for school, Rocco Russo was reading the newspaper or watching the morning news. He was particularly interested in anything political.

This may not have fit his peers' definition of normal, but for him, it was.

"I would always read the newspaper when I was a little kid. It's kind of weird but it was a habit." Russo said with a laugh. "I would read it every morning, and I watched the news a lot."

Now a legal studies major and a member of the golf team at UCF, the Lake Mary native, who comes from a long line of Knights, still has a love of politics and aspirations greater than the average student.

When Russo wasn't winning district championships or state runner-up finishes as a member of his high school golf team, he was leading Trinity Prep's republican club. He also worked on a campaign for Congressman Daniel Webster in Florida's eighth district.

Russo said he chose politics because the skills necessary are things he is good at. He enjoys legal studies and likes the idea of being able to affect change that can really make a difference in people lives.

For now, that first step toward change is inherent in his right to vote, which Russo was excited to finally take part in during the 2012 Romney vs. Obama election.

"It was pretty exciting, I waited in line for over two hours in Oviedo," he said. "It was a really neat day."

He also made a point of encouraging all of his friends who were of age to vote that year, as well.

"Not all of them voted for my guy but that's OK. It's all about participation," Russo said.

Upon graduating from UCF, Russo plans to continue with schooling. If things go according to plan, he will attend Harvard Law, gain some experience working and then open his own law firm before making his bid for Congress.

"I want to be a Senator, that's the ultimate goal," Russo said.

Just as he did as a child, Russo is continuing to stand apart as a college student. He will be interning for U.S. Senator for Florida, Marco Rubio, this summer.

For Russo, a career in politics is about having the ability to use his talents to accomplish something for the greater good.

"It seems like a really neat job," Russo said. "You get to change the world and make it a better place."



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