By Natasha Bhuyan
WILL SEBERGER/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Rep. Tom Kolbe, R-Ariz., left, speaks to astronomy professor and College Republicans advisor Tom Fleming at Frog & Firkin on East University Boulevard last night.
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, August 26, 2004
The UA College Republicans' "Welcome Back" reception last night was graced by three Arizona politicians voicing their support for President George Bush and encouraging UA students to take an active role in the upcoming election.
Congressman Jim Kolbe, R-Ariz., Tucson Mayor Bob Walkup (R) and State Rep. Randy Graf, R.-District 30, addressed a crowd of 70 members of the UA College Republicans gathered at Frog & Firkin.
"I've had a lot to do with the UA College Republicans for the last four years," said Mayor Walkup. "They are always a very active organization."
The students met new members of the campus organization, discussed the upcoming year and campaigned for Bush's re-election.
Tyler Mott, a political science senior and member for four years, estimated about 70 percent of the students at the reception were new.
"We have the enthusiasm, passion and energy to make a great campaign," said political science junior Danielle Roberts, president of the UA College Republicans.
Kolbe said he attended the reception because he hopes students from the UACR can promote the youth vote in the same way they have helped publicize past campaigns.
"I think this is a defining election," Kolbe said.
Nicole Wells, a political science sophomore, said she is joining the UACR because she wants college students to have a voice in the November election.
Students socialized with the elected officials after their speeches.
Graf mingled with students and called them "wonderful," adding UACR student leaders can increase the low voter turnout among youth.
"I think this welcome dinner is great," said Brian Mote, a pre-communication junior. "It gives us an opportunity to see what we can do later on."
According to Roberts, UACR will be devoting the next few months to the re-election of President Bush. Activities include training new members on how to operate grassroots campaigns, registering voters, having booths out on the UA Mall and throwing a "Party for the President" Sept. 2.
Walkup pointed out that officials in the White House recognize Arizona as an important swing state. Since Walkup is a Republican in a Democratic city, White House advisers have called him asking for the secret to his Tucson success.
"I tell them the secret is just being honest and straightforward, and it pays off in the minds of voters," Walkup said.
Also speaking at last night's reception were former UACR presidents Pete Seat, a theater arts senior, and Manny Espinoza, currently the vice chairman of the College Republican National Committee. Both will be attending the Republican National Convention in New York next week.
"We're going to be the ones who win Arizona for George W. Bush," said Espinoza in his address.
The message of the night which both elected officials and students emphasized, was the importance of every student vote. Roberts said the three elected officials attended the reception after she asked because UACR "played a huge role" in their campaigns.
"Look at the great leadership they have," said Kolbe. "It will continue this year."