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UA campus is important stop on election trail

By David J. Cieslak
Arizona Daily Wildcat
September 16, 1998
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Leigh-Anne Brown
Arizona Daily Wildcat

Astronomy freshman Ian Collier comments on the upcoming general elections. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Paul Johnson will pay the UA a visit tomorrow to discuss topics including tuition.

With general elections less than two months away, students on the University of Arizona Mall yesterday had mixed feelings about voting.

While some plan to carefully elect their leaders, others - particularly Arizonans - said they have become disillusioned with state politics.

"We've had some very terrible governors in this state who don't care and are racist," said Nicholas Mercurio, a communication junior and a registered Independent. Mercurio said he couldn't remember the names of the racist, terrible governors.

Although he did not cast a ballot in last Tuesday's primary elections, Mercurio said he plans to vote in the general race.

Ian Collier, an astronomy freshman and Tucson resident, said he will vote in the general elections but wasn't concerned about who leads Arizona.

"I really don't care," said Collier, as he adjusted his sailor's cap.

Despite the apathy and frustration shown by some students, state incumbents and aspiring lawmakers are making the University of Arizona a stop on their campaign trails.

On Aug. 25, Arizona Legislature and Board of Regents members and candidates hosted a forum at the UA to discuss Arizona International College and university funding issues.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Paul Johnson will pay the UA a visit tomorrow to discuss topics including tuition. Johnson is opposing Gov. Jane Hull in the Nov. 2 general elections.

Phoenix resident Alisa Miller said she will back candidates who care about topics that interest her.

"I want people who are going to promote the right things and be concerned with the issues I'm concerned with," Miller said.

The psychology junior said she plans to vote, even though some of the candidates in the local elections have unique qualities.

"There was a candidate for governor wearing a skimpy outfit (Katherine Gallant) and the weatherman (Jim Howl) is running for governor," she said.

Family traditions also prompted some to run to the polls. Sam McConnell, a management information systems junior from Glendale, Ariz., said his loved ones have always voted and been interested in politics.

"My grandfather was in the state Legislature," McConnell said.

Cynthia Jorgensen, an undeclared graduate student who works in the pharmacology department, said she is concerned about Arizona issues, such as educational funding.

"I'm very dissatisfied with the amount of money being spent on K-12 education," she said. "I'm also concerned about taxes."

Out-of-state students registered to vote in their home towns also attend the UA.

Undeclared freshman Kristen Lewis said she is registered to vote in San Diego and hopes to vote in California's general elections.

"I was part of Youth in Government (a student political group) and I was really into that stuff," Lewis said.

Brandon Camper, a business management freshman from San Carlos, Calif., said he and his friends vote because elected officials affect everyone in different ways.

"It impacts everybody socially and financially," Camper said.

Pima County elections manager Mitch Etter said 66,929 county residents cast votes in the Sept. 8 primary elections, and an expected 180,000-190,000 people will go to the polls Nov. 2.

David J. Cieslak can be reached via e-mail at David.J.Cieslak@wildcat.arizona.edu.