By Brian Troutmanbtroutman@abcnews4.com
SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCIV) -- The 17-year-old stood in front of a dark window on a crowded downtown streetscape, hands sweating and a look of nervousness on his face. He won't be old enough to vote in the upcoming primary, but he said he will be praying for Perry.
That's exactly how the bright orange sign read that Joe Mitchell held high as the Texas governor approached on Thursday. "I won't be old enough to vote, but I will pray!! Perry 2012."
Mitchell, a senior at Summerville High School cut class to meet the man vying to become the next president, because he said he is vested in his future. He said missing one session in U.S. history for the chance to meet the next president or influence a voter was a no-brainer.
He's passionate about politics, passionate about voting. He wishes others his age felt the same way.
"A lot of kids don't care about politics," he said. "I want to have my piece in this now. I care about it, because it is the future of my country, and they should too. There should be more (kids) that care about their future, about politics."
"I feel like we need to show people we do care, even if we aren't old enough to vote."
Mitchell's passion for politics began at an early age. His mother used to take him into the voting booth and let him push the buttons. It's that exposure his mom credits for his desire to make a difference.
" I remember taking him by the hand when he was three and fours-years-old, into the voting booth with me, saying, 'Joe, this is your civic duty. God wants you to do this,'" Cindy Mitchell said.
Now, a tall 17-year-old whose biggest role in the upcoming election will be to hold a sign to promote his favorite candidate, hopes to experience an election of a candidate that cares about the job and will help the country prosper.
"I want to experience something true," he said. "...To experience somebody who actually cares about the people instead of just doing big debates."
He hopes the person elected is Rick Perry.
"I like him, because I support what he does -- his values and what he's for," he said. "They (Perry's camp) are coming down to a small town in South Carolina to meet and greet people."