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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Democrats flock to UA rally

Attorney General Terry Goddard, Democratic gubernatorial candidate, will be on campus today for his first college campus rally during this election.

UA’s Young Democrats approached the Goddard campaign with the rally idea two weeks ago.

Samantha Frisby, a UA political science major who is taking a semester off to work as the campaign’s outreach coordinator, said the UA is the first university to hold a rally for Goddard on this campaign cycle. The event’s goal is to present the candidate to students so they can make an “”informed decision,”” Frisby said.

“”The young voters’ turn-out is what got Obama elected in ‘08 and is going to help democrats get elected this year,”” Frisby said.

For Goddard’s camp, the rally is the last push to encourage students who haven’t registered to vote or haven’t transferred their registration to Arizona to participate in what they feel is an important election.

“”The folks in the bracket of 18 to 30 (years old) are historically the folks who are least likely to turn out to vote and they are the ones that are most affected by policy changes that are happening right now,”” said Cathy Nichols, Southern Arizona campaign director.

Goddard’s presence on UA campus derives from the candidate’s “”strong commitment to education,”” Nichols said, in particular, “”making sure that our land grant universities are the strong institutions that they were supposed to be.””

The rally is expected to begin at noon on the UA Mall behind Old Main. Goddard is the first speaker, and will be on campus until 12:30 p.m. The rally’s organization expects 200 to 300 students to attend.

Student presence makes a difference in the campaign, Nichols and Frisby said. “”We’re a very young staff,”” said Frisby.

“”We would not be able to run the kind of campaign we’re running without student support,”” Nichols said. “”We have an amazing group of interns and their enthusiasm is really contagious. They’ve really made this campaign what it is in Southern Arizona.””

The candidate’s speech will draw on a comparison between the next fiscal year’s budget in a possible Goddard administration versus current Gov. Jan Brewer’s, Nichols said.

“”What are the alternatives she’s proposing and what are the alternatives he’s proposing,”” she said about the differences in the proposed budgets.

The education system’s budget deficit that developed during Brewer’s 16-month administration is a major issue for Goddard, who doesn’t want to burden students to balance the budget, Nichols said.

“”After this election on Nov. 2nd, when the Legislature comes back on Nov. 3rd, they’re going to be looking at a $1 billion budget deficit. And that money is going to have to be taken out of something,”” she said.

Both candidates running for governor were invited earlier by the ASUA for a debate, but Brewer declined. “”Unfortunately there will not be an opportunity for the students to hear their proposals side to side because she’s refused to have any other debates,”” Nichols said.

Republican candidate Gov. Jan Brewer has not announced any visits to UA campus during her campaign so far. The governor’s campaign office could not be reached for comment by the time of publication.

Aside from Goddard, statewide candidates Rodney Glassman, Chris Deschene, Felecia Rotellini, Penny Kotterman and Manuel Cruz have confirmed attendance.

Local candidates for districts 27 and 28 Macario Saldate and Bruce Wheeler are also expected to attend.

“”We have a very enthusiastic group of young democrats on the U of A campus that have extended invitations widely,”” Nichols said.

Rumors of an appearance by Michelle Obama at the rally surfaced when the president of the Young Democrats sent the first lady a letter inviting her, creating excitement about the possibility. The campaign, Nichols said, was not expecting Obama to come.

 

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