Arizona Secretary of State candidates Goddard, Reagan debate at ASU

Posted by Blake Wright on October 19, 2014 at 11:17 PM

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By Jonathan Williams | Arizona State Press - 10/16/2014  

Arizona’s candidates for Secretary of State debated student voting at the Downtown campus Thursday. Republican candidate Michele Reagan and Democratic candidate Terry Goddard answered questions from different students, and the event was livestreamed on ASUtv so students who didn’t attend could watch the candidates speak.

 

“Do you know how many elections have been decided by a game of chance?” Reagan asked. “I don’t think many people know how close elections can be.”

 

Reagan and Goddard were cut off early, but Goddard did not want to finish.

 

“Senator Reagan and I are not finished,” Goddard said as the audience laughed.

 

President Frank Smith III of Undergraduate Student Government Downtown hosted the event, while Jonathan Koppell, dean of the College of Public Programs, and Ginger Lamb, vice president and publisher of the Arizona Capitol Times, moderated the debate.

 

A couple of student organizations, like Common Sense Action, were on hand to promote student voting. President Tania Cohen handled one of the many tables scattered along the walls and handed out flyers for her organization. Cohen said she started the chapter at the University in January 2013.

 

“We felt like it was another good opportunity to support other student organizations,” Cohen said.

 

Cohen said Common Sense Action is bipartisan, and their views would appeal to members of both parties and her organization.

 

“We really want to see students engaging with the candidates and the organizations,” Cohen said.

 

Global health sophomore Monet Niesluchowski is in a public policy course and her professor urged her to attend the debate.

 

“I wanted a better understanding of the candidates,” Niesluchowski said. “I’ve never really been to a debate of this level before.”

 

The event featured a discussion with alumnus and professor David Garcia, a Democratic candidate for the superintendent of public instruction. Garcia’s opponent, Republican Diane Douglas, couldn’t attend, so students raised their hands and asked questions.

 

Garcia said if he was elected, higher education would be something he would address

 

“We’re going to focus on the transition from K-12 to higher education,” he said.

Paul Atkinson is the assistant director of strategic marketing and communication at the University. Atkinson said the event’s goal was to provide outreach to the public and this is the last debate.

 

“It’s an important race,” Atkinson said. “Sometimes it doesn’t get the attention it deserves.”

 

Reach the reporter at jwilli62@asu.edu or follow him on Twitter @JonWilliams_23

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