Students rally for candidates

By Kris Cabulong & Jesse Lewis
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, October 14, 2004

Bush speaks at B.O.B., Kerry rocks town lake

TEMPE - The UA College Republicans and Young Democrats traveled to Phoenix by bus, van and car yesterday to rally after the third presidential debate.

More than 100 UA College Republicans joined 200 other College Republicans bussed in from Las Vegas, New Mexico, California and Utah, at the Republican rally at Bank One Ballpark, said Danielle Roberts, UACR president.

An estimated 30,000 people attended the rally.

Country singer Aaron Tippin performed before Sen. John Kyl and Sen. John McCain entered the stadium with President George W. Bush.

The crowd gave a standing ovation, and waved American flags in the three-quarters full ballpark.

Bush addressed the crowd for five minutes, primarily focusing on the importance of his family. His wife and twin daughters were with him on the field.

Phoenix Police Department had undercover officers patrolling the rally, but no protests, disturbances or arrests occurred, police said.

The UACR wore red T-shirts that said "a partnership for an idiot-free America."

Roberts said seeing Bush in person inspired the UACR.

"Just seeing the president and being in his presence was worth it," Roberts said.

Roughly 140 UA Young Democrats drove to the Democratic rally in Tempe and joined thousands of other Sen. John Kerry supporters at a rally at Tempe Beach Park.

The UAYD made posters and signs for the rally, and helped plan it in conjunction with the Phoenix-based Arizona Democratic Party, said Alicia Cybulski, UAYD president.

People at the rally watched last night's presidential debate on two projection screens while waving signs and cheering in support of Kerry.

About a half hour before the debate began, the alternative rock band Foo Fighters played for the crowd. The band picked up again after the debate as Kerry supporters waited for the Senator to arrive at the rally.

Governor Janet Napolitano and Kerry's wife, Theresa Heinz-Kerry, spoke before Kerry took the stage at about 8 p.m.

He spoke about education, jobs and health care and vowed to "fight for the middle class of America."

Cybulski said the UAYD were excited to see Kerry in person at the rally and his performance in the debate was strong.

Kerry left his supporters with a promise to Arizonans that he would provide more teachers, more jobs, more health insurance and tax relief.

"Tomorrow will be a better day," Kerry said, "but we need your help."