The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Friday December 9th

Area Democrats Address Students

In a roomful of Democratic supporters, local candidates spoke to students at the Young Democrats "Meet the Candidates" forum Monday night.
Three Democratic candidates for local office used the opportunity to come out and speak directly to students on campaign issues and the importance of student involvement.
Sen. Ellie Kinnaird, D-Orange, who is up for re-election in November, was the first of the candidates to speak.
Kinnaird spoke of her focus on education and the environment and the importance of student involvement in elections. Kinnaird was one of the leading proponents in the creation of the one-stop voting bill, which allows for early voting. UNC has a one-stop polling site at Morehead Planetarium.
Because of her close interaction with students, Robert Porter, a local Democratic activist, said: "Students have no better friend in the Senate than Ellie Kinnaird. You couldn't do much better if you had an actual student in the office."
Rep. Verla Insko, D-Orange, also spoke on her involvement on issues concerning education, child care and mental health. She is currently House co-chairwoman of the Mental Health Oversight Committee. "Our science and medical knowledge about mental health is so far ahead of our public policy," Insko said.
County Commissioner Margaret Brown focused on the importance of local officials.
All three candidates agreed that voters know a lot about candidates for president and governor but are less sure who to vote for in state and local offices.
But she added that local officials are often just as significant as national politicians.
"The rubber hits the road at the county level," Brown said.
"This is where you can see if your public officials really care about people and will get things done."
Student representatives for Democrats Elaine Marshall, candidate for N.C. secretary of state; Roy Cooper, candidate for N.C. attorney general; and Doug Berger, candidate for labor commissioner, spoke on behalf of these candidates.
Susan Navarro, deputy communications director for Young Democrats, said she enjoyed both the forum and the attention that the candidates paid to issues concerning young people. "I thought it was really great," Navarro said.
"It shows that these candidates care a lot about us, and as a student, that means a lot to me."
The State & National Editor can be reached at stntdesk@unc.edu.



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