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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Congressional candidates Barber & McSally to host public forum on campus

Hailey Eisenbach / Arizona Daily Wildcat Ron Barber meets with the UA chapter of the Young Democrats on the evening of Thursday, August 24.

Rep. Ron Barber and Martha McSally, Arizona’s Congressional District 2 candidates, will be answering questions at a forum from 6-7 p.m., tonight in the Student Union Memorial Center’s Grand Ballroom.

Arizona Public Media, the Associated Students of the University of Arizona and the Arizona Students’ Association will be hosting the forum, which is open to the public. Christopher Conover, content producer for Arizona Public Media, will be moderating the forum.

A panel of two Arizona Public Media journalists and Katy Murray, president of ASUA and a marketing senior, will be asking the candidates a variety of questions. Murray said her questions will focus on education, job creation and how these issues will impact current and future students.

“I’m on the panel to really represent the student voice and make sure that they’re aware of the issues that students care about,” Murray said.

Kristen Douglas, McSally’s deputy campaign manager, said they are looking forward to the forum and find it important that voters make informed decisions at the polls on Nov. 6.

“The decisions that lawmakers are making is going to be on the backs of these students, of this generation,” Douglas said. “So it’s important that we show up, are informed, start taking action, get engaged, make decisions about who they want to represent them.”

Although the candidates do not know what questions will be asked or what topics will be covered, Douglas said McSally’s team is expecting to discuss economic, education and immigration issues.

Zoey Kotzambasis, president of the UA College Republicans and a political science sophomore, said her club would be attending the event as a group instead of holding their usual meeting. Although Kotzambasis said the forum is a good opportunity for students to get involved in politics, she isn’t expecting the forum to offer any fresh discourse.

“I expect it to be kind of how their ads are against each other,” Kotzambasis said. “I think it’s going to be pretty partisan-based.”

Kotzambasis also said that she doesn’t believe illegal immigration and securing the border is an important campaign point for either candidate, based on her previous experiences hearing both candidates speak.

“I would love to hear them talk about illegal immigration, but I really doubt that’s going to happen,” Kotzambasis said.

ASUA, ASA and Arizona Public Media started planning the event at the end of the summer and had to coordinate with the University of Arizona Police Department, Parking and Transportation Services and other campus departments to ensure that everything runs smoothly, Murray explained.

Doors will open at 5 p.m. and attendees are expected to be seated by 5:45 p.m. in order for the event to start on time. The SUMC Grand Ballroom has a capacity of more than 1,100 and Murray said she expects the event to be full.

“We’re hoping that this really gives [attendees] a chance to see where the candidates stand on various issues, what they can hope to get out of either of the candidates by voting for them and ultimately a larger say in the political process, and really get them excited about voting,” Murray said.

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