Randolph-Macon College Becomes Center of Political Universe - 8NEWS - WRIC | News Where You Live

Randolph-Macon College Becomes Center of Political Universe

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ASHLAND (WRIC) - Randolph-Macon College's president is reacting to two of his faculty facing off in what has become a historic congressional race.

The small private school is now at the center of what many are calling one of the biggest upsets in political history.

Economics professor and Republican nominee Dave Brat will take on sociology professor Jack Trammell. Now the school has been thrust into the national spotlight and students and staff say, they're ready for it.

The school has around 1,300 students and is now home to two faculty members who will go head to head.

"It is a small college. It's not very well known. That's part of the reason I came here," says student Richard Bock. "I like the feel of the small town, small college campus. "

Randolph-Macon's President Robert Lindgren hopes the spotlight gives the college an opportunity to shine and show what they're all about - something he thinks will happen through both candidates.

"They represent the very best of Randolph-Macon in that way and I hope that comes through," he says.

"It's exciting and a bit of uncharted territory for us but I think we're going to kind of rise to it as a college campus," says student Jake Palyo.

The school is now in summer session, but that hasn't stopped students. Many say they can't wait to see what happens in the upcoming months.

"All my friends on Facebook have been talking about how incredible… this is all the support," says student Zack Long.

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Dave Brat's victory has been getting a lot of attention, but now so has the man he will face - Jack Trammell.

Trammell was relatively unknown until Tuesday night after the huge upset by Brat. Jack Trammell hadn't gotten any sleep after the shocking results were revealed.

"What a shocker and it's interesting to see the political world turned upside down by it and it's very exciting," he says.

The sociology professor at Randolph-Macon has seven children, runs a small family farm and has written several books. He says he decided to get into the race for a number of reasons, one of the biggest was "a growing anger over the gridlock and the inaction and the politics of Washington."

In the last 24 hours, he's gone from relative anonymity to suddenly getting national attention in what is being called one of the most historic political races.

"Anyone who's been in that position would say it's overwhelming and it's difficult and it is."

For now, Trammell says he knows he has a lot of work to do.

"I realize that in the next four months, I'm going to be in a very steep learning curve about people and the issues in my district. But I also very much look forward to that."

While he realizes the seventh district is heavily Republican, he's encouraged by last night's result and says it shows anything is possible.

"That victory does encourage people to remember that no one ever knows for sure what the outcome's going to be, I think it's going to be a terrific next few months."

Copyright 2014 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond

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