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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


DuVal targets younger audience at “Fredstock”

Cooper Temple
Cooper Temple / The Daily Wildcat Fred Duvall, the democratic candidate for governor, speaks with Shana Oseran, the owner of Hotel Congress, at his rally in Tucson on Sept. 6, 2014. Duvall will be participating in a debate on Sept. 21 at the University of Arizona.

Fred DuVal shared the stage with bands and supporters at the Hotel Congress on Saturday evening to share his vision for Arizona.

The campaign event, called Fredstock, was geared toward a younger audience and provided DuVal, the Democratic nominee for governor, a chance to have many one-on-one conversations with potential voters. Matt Milner, a UA alumnus, coordinated the event.

“The concept was to be able to do an event that was an awareness event but that wasn’t a traditional political fundraiser, wasn’t stuffy and wasn’t exclusive,” Milner said, “but something that would be able to reach younger voters or voters who would be off the campaign’s radar.”

Milner said the event planners had to decide what market they were targeting, and while they decided to reach out to anyone, they wanted to focus on the younger crowd.

The main feature of the night was the music. Three bands — Sun Bones, Wolvves and Big Bad — played at the event, which was free of charge.

Alex Decker, a UA alumnus and DuVal’s brother-in-law, came up with the idea for the event.

“For me, I’ve been a musician my entire life,” Decker said. “So I figured, you know what, I want to combine two things I’m passionate about. Why not get music and Fred together?”

Decker said he hoped his event would inspire young people to get involved in politics.

“I think a lot of people of our generation who have lived in Arizona their entire lives have become disenchanted by the political process, and they want to know that they have a part to play in the future of this state,” Decker said. “And that’s the purpose of this event: to let people know that they have a role to play.”

Arizona state Sen. Paula Aboud also attended the event in support of DuVal.

“I couldn’t change the legislature as a senator, so I’m trying to elect a governor,” Aboud said. “Nobody has visions for Arizona like Fred DuVal. We need young people to see his potential to make [their] lives better.”

Education was a prominent topic of discussion.

“Fred is the guy who is going to protect the integrity and the quality of our public universities when the other candidates won’t,” Decker said. “This is a guy who was president of the Arizona Board of Regents, and he is passionate about expanding the quality of our public universities.”

During the event, DuVal emphasized the importance of education and preparing students for college.

“We need better input into the UA,” DuVal said. “That is to say, we need to do a better job of making sure that every graduate of high school is prepared for a career or college. It’s going to require more seamless linkages between high schools and colleges. The UA is quite justifiably one of the nation’s leading research institutions and needs to continue to be so.”

Nick Mahon, a senior studying philosophy, politics, economics and law and the president of the UA Young Democrats, attended the event with several of his friends.

“We’ve been supporting Fred for a year,” Mahon said. “He’s been focused on student issues from the start.”

—Follow Thomas Hayworth @ThomasHayworth

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