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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

“Giffords, Grijalva pump up Young Democrats for last voting efforts”

Valentina Martinelli / Arizona Daily Wildcat

Gabrielle Giffords speaks to the Young Democrats Club  in the Kiva room in the SUMC on Wednesday Oct 27. Raul Grijalva spoke after her.
Valentina Martinelli
Valentina Martinelli / Arizona Daily Wildcat Gabrielle Giffords speaks to the Young Democrats Club in the Kiva room in the SUMC on Wednesday Oct 27. Raul Grijalva spoke after her.

Energized by a visit from Grijalva and Giffords, Young Democrat members are lacing up their sneakers and practicing their phone voices for full force campaigning.

Over the next five days leading up to the Nov. 2 election Young Democrats will be going door to door and phone banking for candidates.

Congressional District 7 Rep. Raul Grijalva and Congressional District 8 Rep. Gabrielle Giffords emphasized the importance of involvement. Both candidates said this election was crucial, with Giffords calling it a “”tidal wave”” election and Grijalva telling students that the results would impact them for the rest of their lives.

“”Now, I realize that politics is about hand-to-hand combat and I realize that politics is about winner-take-all, but there is a lot at stake here,”” Grijalva said.

“”I’m having to raise more money than I ever believed I would have to.””

Giffords called her district “”one of the toughest in the nation.””

Political science sophomore Erik Lundstrom makes calls 30 hours a week as an intern at Arizona Democratic Party’s Coordinated Campaign.

“”The campaigns are vibrant, they’re alive. Arizona has one of the best field campaigns in the country on the Democratic side,”” Lundstrom said. “”But voter enthusiasm makes it difficult to actually get the results we want. It’s not for a lack of trying.””

The phone calls have a myriad of reactions, according to Lundstrom.

“”You get people who thank you for your call and then all the time you get “”you piece of shit”” hang up. And then you get people in between that, you get the full range,”” Lundstrom said. “”There are enough good people to make it worthwhile and then enough bad people to make it a chore.””

While Grijalva’s race against Republican candidate Ruth McClung may be close he’s not letting it drag down his political gusto.

“”I’m going to stand and fight. If that is a consequence that is not good for me in the long term then I’m going to be able to sleep at night,”” Grijalva said. “”I’m kind of excited about this election — fearful but excited.””

Both candidates took questions from students, with one student asking Giffords about her feelings about the repeal of “”don’t ask, don’t tell.””

“”I voted for the repeal with the condition … that a plan is being worked as we speak which will address a transition away from the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy,”” Giffords said. “”It’s an outdated, misguided policy. We’ve lost about 14,000 of our military … because of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ and what’s so remarkable is when you talk to them, they’d go back in a heartbeat.””

One student asked Grijalva to explain why he called for the Arizona Boycott.

Grijalva paced the room before answering.

“”The fact of the matter is I misjudged that decision with all honesty,”” Grijalva said.

“”Strategically it was not a smart move. On a personal level I was really angry about that, it was a personal insult on many levels.””

At the end of the meeting students signed up for times to help the Democratic campaign either by agreeing to make phone calls or go door to door.

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