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The Daily Tar Heel

NCSU Students Meet Candidates

Candidate Forum 2000, sponsored by the N.C. State Political Science Club and other campus organizations, aimed to inform young voters about issues affecting them.

Many of the candidates for major state offices were missing, including the two main-party gubernatorial candidates, Democrat Mike Easley and Republican Richard Vinroot.

About 150 students attended the program, greatly exceeding organizers' expectations, said Larisa Yasinovskaya, political science club vice president.

"The overwhelming turnout of students tonight rekindles my hope that people will become more politically involved," she said.

Almost every candidate discussed the need for education reforms within the N.C. public school system.

Michael Barrick, Republican candidate for state superintendent of public instruction, said students' parents should exercise control over public schools.

"I offer a change in leadership style," Barrick said, "one that trusts teachers to do their job without excessive interference."

C. Brian Towey, Libertarian candidate for U.S. House Dist. 4, which includes Orange County, stressed the difference between his party's platform and that of Democrats and Republicans.

Towey said his party stands for individual freedom on every issue.

"We want the government out of your bank account and out of your bedroom," he said.

Reform gubernatorial candidate Douglas Schell said there is a need for all political candidates to be treated equally.

Schell, a UNC-Pembroke business professor, said he was angry at being excluded from a UNC-Chapel Hill Student Television debate.

He said the debate was canceled when Vinroot declined to participate.

But Yasinovskaya said the N.C. State forum gave all candidates a fair chance to present their positions.

"This forum was democracy, the way it's meant to be."

The State & National Editor can be reached at stntdesk@unc.edu.

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