Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Professor Kevin Moffett

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Rights Information

© 2018 Teagan L Stewart


This thesis is the start of a novel that explores the psychological complexities of maneuvering local politics, tense family dynamics, and romantic love through the lens of a man who proves to be unapologetically selfish, cunning, and surprisingly relatable. Set in the desert of Albuquerque, New Mexico, this piece forces the reader to engage with characters who are propelled by their own biases, experiences, and goals instead of a moral compass. The campaign trail raises questions of loyalty, prejudice, empathy, and determination in a city where nearly everyone is intertwined. Below is the official synopsis:

James Rochford is technically the underdog in the 2012 New Mexico State Senate Election. He is the youngest to run for senate, has no prior experience in office, and has comparatively fewer resources in terms of money and name recognition. But James' charisma and cunning seem to give him an edge that no one else has.

As the race heats up, James is caught up in a whirlwind romance and subsequent breakup which complicate his public image. Whispers of corruption and impending scandal jeopardize his chances. As James' family, romance, and election unravel, his sanity seems to depart with it, in a desperate attempt to win it all and maintain the grandiose life he clings to.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.