Howard Dean was the guest of honor at a rally downtown yesterday for Democrats who wanted to get fired-up about the presidential election and contribute to the campaign on a smaller scale.
About 500 people attended the rally at Armory Park, 210 S. Fifth Ave., which included local politicians, the UA Young Democrats and Sen. John Kerry supporters.
Dean, Vermont governor and former presidential candidate in the Democratic primaries, told attendees they could help John Kerry by supporting local leaders and voting.
"More voter turnout in Southern Arizona means more wins for Kerry and more wins for the Democrat party," Dean said to cheering supporters, some with "Kerry-Edwards" signs.
He told UA students to encourage other students to go out and vote.
Dean endorsed Representative Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and two politicians running for the Corporation Commission.
The Corporatation Commission "adopts rules and regulations thereby functioning in a legislative capacity," according to the commission's Web site.
Dean said Grijalva is instrumental in helping Kerry win the electoral votes for Arizona.
"It depends on the people here, right here, right now," he said.
Dean also predicted the candidate who gets the most early votes in Arizona will win the electoral votes for the state.
He encouraged the audience not only to vote, but to provide others with political information by talking to friends, volunteering at the Democraic headquarters and going door-to-door.
"The election is not in my hands, it is now in yours," Dean said.
Alicia Cybulski, president of UAYD, said people can easily relate to Dean.
"Governor Dean is a very passionate public speaker," she said.
Although Dean is no longer in the presidential race, Cybulski said Dean pointed out useful strategies for electing Kerry. She said students should talk to their friends about voting, like Dean suggested.
Rep. Grijalva said the election centers around American values and voters should look at the values of the candidates in the election.
"We should not back away from those values because on Nov. 2, we need to defend those values," Grijalva said.
He said the average American still has a role in America, and that role is to provide future security for children.
Other issues Dean discussed were health care, unemployment and the No Child Left Behind Act.