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Forum lets UA students meet Ariz. candidates


By Mitra Taj
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, September 21, 2004
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Students are invited to meet Arizona state Legislature and U.S. Congress candidates seeking election at a forum tonight sponsored by Hillel, the College Republicans and the Young Democrats.

At least five candidates will speak about what they will do for students and the UA if elected to local offices, said Jeremy Tor, a political science and Spanish senior who organized the event.

Tor said it's common for young people to be "blinded by the presidential election" and neglect to inform themselves about local elections.

"A lot of people go into the voting booth and vote for the president, when they have 10 other offices to vote for," Tor said. "Local elections affect us much more immediately than national elections do."

A law that went into effect last month extending last call to 2 a.m. is a perfect example of how the state Legislature impacts students' lives, Tor said.

Tor said a lot of campus groups have focused their activities on voter registration, overlooking another important factor in getting young people out to vote - familiarity with the candidates and issues.

After each candidate's five-minute speech and a question-and-answer period, Tor said students will get the chance to mingle with the candidates over refreshments.

"It's crucial that students meet the candidates one-on-one to see who they are," he said.

Among the candidates who will attend the forum is Democrat Eva Bacal, who, together with Libertarian Robert Anderson, is challenging long-term incumbent Rep. Jim Kolbe (R) for the U.S. House District 7 seat.

U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva's (D) opponent, Republican Joseph Sweeney, will speak to students about why they should elect him to represent U.S. House District 7.

Democrat Ted Downing, a UA research professor and the incumbent for Arizona House District 28, will speak at the forum along with Bill Phillips, his Republican opponent.

Arizona state Sen. Gabrielle Giffords (D) will attend to campaign for reelection.

The forum will be at 7 p.m. tonight at the UA Hillel Center.



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