Teen CEO Launches Bid For Plymouth Council
PLYMOUTH — When he was collecting signatures in February to run for borough council, Alec Ryncavage wasn’t even old enough to vote.
But this May he’ll be able to cast his first-ever ballot — for himself — after turning 18 in March.
And the tech-savy teenage CEO is launching his political bid as a Republican in the Democrat stronghold of Plymouth.
“That’s hard to do,” Ryncavage said recently after announcing his candidacy.
Ryncavage’s main platform is resurrecting the town’s Main Street, which officially is U.S. Route 11, a main thoroughfare on the west side of the Susquehanna River.
“We have a lot of traffic that comes through Plymouth. There’s a lot of impressions to be made,” Ryncavage said. “My unifying message here is if we fix up our Main Street and reinvest back in our businesses we might be able to reinstate some pride in our town. Plymouth has curb appeal.”
Ryncavage knows people will say there’s not enough money to get the job done. He counters by saying he’s had to start several technology companies from scratch with little money.
Ryncavage vows to aggressively seek grant money and encourage private investments in the borough as well. He thinks he can help Plymouth turn a corner toward progress.
The Wyoming Valley West High School senior started his first company in seventh grade. He’s the founder and CEO of a cyber security business. He created a GPS navigation app for cell phones. He’s also a freelance political consultant, who designs websites for politicians and markets their campaign platforms.
“My business experience will help my political career,” Ryncavage said.
Ryncavage said he is taking a year off from school after graduating high school in June so he could finally work full time on his businesses. That was a request from some of his investors, he said. After that, he plans to go to college to study political science in preparation for law school.
Ryncavage’s mother, Danielle, described her son as “age 18 going on 40.”
The teen went on several skiing trips to Vermont this winter using profits from his businesses.
“I paid for all those trips out of my own pocket and I’m proud of that,” Ryncavage said.
Ryncavage rents space for work at the Wilkes-Barre Think Center, a shared space facility in downtown Wilkes-Barre. When there, he’ll often don a sport coat and a tie. But that’s not always the case, he said.
“When I go to school, I’m a typical kid. I don’t wear a suit to school. I wear normal clothes — a polo and khakis and a pair of Nikes. When I go out in the real world, which I call it, I dress up a bit,” Ryncavage said.
One non-work hobby Ryncavage has is playing on Valley West’s tennis team.
Ryncavage described himself as a moderate Republican who isn’t afraid to cross the aisle to work with Democrats, which comprise most of his family, including his parents. He’s said he’s not even sure if his parents will switch parties to vote for him in the May primary. But he’s the only Republican on the ballot, so it appears he’ll have no problem making the general election in the fall against three Democrats.
Ryncavage said he supports Republican President Donald Trump and thinks people would be surprised with how many of his peers in school feel the same way.
“I don’t agree with everything he does and says, but I am not afraid to tell people I’m a Republican and support Trump. When it comes to business and taxes, I’m with the Republicans,” Ryncavage said. “Some people don’t know why they are Democrats except their parents and grandparents were Democrats.”
Ryncavage vowed to work hard to be elected and set an ambitious goal to meet voters.
“I plan on knocking on every door in Plymouth twice by November,” Ryncavage said. “The people need to be heard.”
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