Gulf Breeze teen Riley Perantoni has been building a reputation around Santa Rosa County as a young leader, addressing local government entities about the Fentanyl crisis. Now he’s encouraging other youth to get involved in politics through a newly formed Republican club managed by teens.
Peratoni was recently named Vice Chairman of Florida High School Republicans, a youth auxiliary of the GOP. According to Perantoni, FLHS is the largest “teenager-only arm” of the GOP and aims to turn around the trends of “Democratic domination over the youth vote.”
“(FLHS) also serves as an organization to push and endorse issues critical to our age group, with a Republican lens,” he said. “Finally, it serves to build up young Republicans through a support network to become involved in politics at an early age.”
Santa Rosa County Commission Vice Chairman James Calkins, a staunch Conservative Republican, praises Peratoni’s involvement. “I have been inspired to see this young man speaking at school board, City of Milton and other local meetings,” Calkins said, adding, “I’m so encouraged to see a local teenager encouraging other youth to engage in politics, especially as a Republican.”
“I believe that, no matter what, people need to be educated in order to maintain a Republic,” Perantoni said. “Benjamin Franklin once said, after asked what type of Government the founding fathers would form, he replied ‘A Republic, if you can keep it.’ Today, his words still echo out, and with a growing number of my friends and fellow students believing the system is unworkable, broken, or otherwise unwise, I want to allow them the opportunity to experience and see the actual progress the Government can make. This involves going to meetings, speaking out, and getting involved while making a noticeable difference in how people think, operate, or execute their duties. When I went through the experiences of our Government, it gave me faith about our systems, and when I learned more about those systems, I realized that change is possible through them. This sentiment is rarely shared among my friends — it’s time to stand up, change the stigma around politics, and finally allow our voices and our opinions to become the forefront, rather than the backburner.”
Teens who would like to get involved in the local FLHS chapter may reach Perantoni via email@example.com.
Perantoni pictured with U.S Congressman Matt Gaetz. Photo by Romi White.