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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Presidential candidates to face off

Presidential candidates Manny Felix and Hannah Sager will face off in a debate today at noon in the race to become the 2015-2016 Associated Students of the University of Arizona president.

Candidates will be asked various questions from a panel, which includes Issac Ortega, current ASUA president, Jordan Allison, current executive vice president and Nicole Thill, editor-in-chief of the Daily Wildcat.

Ortega said he believes this event is “hugely important” to the student body.

“You have the two candidates who are going to be representing all 42,000 students, and there’s going to be, hopefully, some really tough issues talked about in terms of budget cuts,” Ortega said. “I think it’s really important for students to get perspective on the two choices that they’re going to be voting on.”

According to Diego Alvarez, elections commissioner for ASUA, the panelists have thoroughly researched the candidates and prepared questions for them based on their platforms and other subjects.

Ortega said his questions will be based on the challenges and difficult situations that he had to face throughout his current tenure as president.

“My questions are more based on how I viewed my role this year as president and questions that resemble how they would really carry out a task, given some tough situations,” Ortega said.

Ortega added that audience members will have the chance to write down their own questions and possibly have them answered if they are drawn.

Alvarez said the event is key for candidates to gain exposure both for their benefit and for the voters’ benefit.

“It’s more interaction and candidates giving as much information as they can about what they’re doing and why they’re doing it,” Alvarez said. “It’s important that people know who these people are that are going to be the elected officials, and trying to help ASUA and make a change and difference.”

According to Alvarez, about 3,600 students voted in the primary elections last week — roughly 500 students less than last year’s primary election.

Alvarez said the focus was not on how many students voted; rather than just being based on liking individuals or seeing their campaigns around campus the most, votes should be based on believing in what the candidates stand for.

“They need to know who it is that they’re going to be electing,” Alvarez said. “We wanted to make sure we didn’t get only the maximum amount of votes but the highest quality of votes.”

Ortega said he hopes this event will get Felix and Sager’s names out there, so students can determine which campaign best suits what they would like to see at the UA.

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Follow Adriana Espinosa on Twitter.

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