Charles Hicks has no idea when he will be able to return home to Pembroke to visit family and friends. He does not even know when his next day off will be.
He does know that it will not be until after Nov. 8 because that is Election Day, and until then, his focus is on trying to get his boss — Hillary Clinton — elected president.
“It’s really about more than politics,” Hicks said in a phone interview recently from Clinton’s campaign headquarters in Brooklyn. “It’s amazing to have an opportunity to be part of this historic campaign.”
Because of the long hours and the work to be done, Hicks was not able to attend the graduation of his younger brother, Chris, from the University of Georgia in May. Hicks graduated from UGA three years ago and would have loved to go back.
“Hillary actually called him the day of his graduation and congratulated him,” Hicks said. “It was so neat for me to see her reach out to my family like that and take time to call him. I couldn’t leave because we were right in the middle of primary season.”
Hicks said he believes growing up in Pembroke prepared him for a career in public service.
“Our family has been fully involved in the community there,” he said. “It was a great experience living there because it’s a place where people take care of each other.”
Hicks and his family moved to Pembroke from Savannah when he was 8. The headquarters for his grandfather’s company, G&C Fertilizer, is there and his mother, Sarah Williams, helps run it. Williams has also helped revitalize the North Bryan Chamber of Commerce, does a weekly show about local happenings on Pembroke Advanced Communications’ local channel and runs Lucy Belle Farm, a bed and breakfast and gathering spot for community events.
“My mom has been a great role model when it comes to being involved in the community and taking on a leadership role,” Hicks said. “Hillary really reminds me of her.”
Hicks said he also learned a lot about caring for others as a member of the Pembroke United Methodist Church.
“That’s the tradition of the United Methodist Church,” he said. “You take food to people when they’re sick; you watch out for each other’s kids.”
The Savannah Arts Academy alumnus graduated from Georgia with a degree in journalism anthropology and was opinion editor of the student newspaper, The Red & Black. He then interned for Eleison Group, a political consulting firm that meshes public policy and faith issues.
From there, he spent almost a year and a half at Correct the Record, a pro-Hillary Clinton Super Political Action Committee that fights back against what it calls “baseless attacks” against her. He has been with the Clinton campaign since May 2015 as a research associate, working primarily on fact checking for speeches the candidate gives.
Like all political staffers, Hicks’ future depends somewhat on the success of his boss. He said it would be great to be a White House staffer, but the election is the first priority.
“It was exciting to win the Georgia primary, and now we’re focused on the general election,” he said. “We’re working around the clock.”