Mallory Hagan

Mallory Hagan speaks at the Calhoun County Democrats meeting at the Hampton Inn in Jacksonville. (Stephen Gross / The Anniston Star)

Mallory Hagan may have a hefty dose of public confidence, but the realistic chances of her unseating U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Saks, in this fall's election are remote, at best. Rogers' -- and Republicans' -- hold on the 3rd congressional district is pretty strong, and it's likely to remain that way for the foreseeable future.

That said, Hagan's giving it a go. She's also getting a fair amount of media attention, including this feature on the website Refinery29: "Former Miss America Mallory Hagan Wants To Change Alabama — American Politics."

"... Hagan has a not-so-secret weapon: the youth. While the 18-to-25 demographic historically has the lowest turnout, with this year's voter outreach efforts from March for Our Lives and other grassroots groups, a youth quake appears to be coming. You have to give young people someone to vote for they can relate to, says Hagan — and that's exactly what she and other young candidates, like 28-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York, are doing.

"'It speaks to the fact that the two-party system is not working — it's my hope that our generation will be the generation that figures out a different way,' Hagan tells Refinery29. 'It's so exciting to be so young in politics. This year, I'm seeing so many other young people running — we need young people to get involved in their communities and in politics, because we need those voices at the table.'"

Refinery29 is a news website that covers issues centering on young women -- hence, its interest in Hagan, who is 29 and a former Miss America. She won her party's primary this month to become the latest Democrat to challenge Rogers.

"What's Hagan's other not-so-secret weapon? Actually talking to the people she wants to represent. Every Wednesday night, she hosts a community barbecue to bring people together. 'It’s able to open the doors between the demographics,' says campaign manager Lindsay Hanner. The most common complaint about Hagan's opponent Rogers is that he's inaccessible, they both say. 'He's notorious for hosting town halls on a Tuesday at 2 o'clock,' says Hagan.
 
-- Phillip Tutor