Students are using social media to organize campaign efforts and unite supporters of Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, the Democratic candidate for the 9th Congressional District.
Sinema is running against Republican candidate, Paradise Valley councilman Vernon Parker, in the November election.
Political science junior Chrisanne Gultz, founder of the Students for Sinema Facebook group, said the group is designed to connect students who support Sinema, a part-time professor at ASU, with opportunities to campaign for her election.
More than 100 people have liked the page since the group’s launch in early October.
The group has been actively involved in phone banking, canvassing and promoting Sinema around campus, Gultz said.
Gultz said she created the group because social media has become an effective way to involve young people.
She said Students for Sinema promoted Thursday night’s open forum with Sinema, hosted by the Tempe Undergraduate Student Government in the Memorial Union, and are encouraging students to attend and get to know Sinema.
Gultz said she supports Sinema because of her dedication to Pell Grants, Stafford loans, affordable tuition and other education issues.
“We know that she would support students in Congress,” Gultz said.
She said Sinema’s history in the Arizona Senate makes her an ideal candidate for the polarized political scene in Washington, D.C.
“She has a history of working across the aisle,” Gultz said. “We need people who are willing to work together.”
At the open forum, Sinema said she would be able to get things done even with a Republican majority in Congress.
“All I’ve ever done is serve in the minority,” Sinema said.
The candidate stressed her dedication to higher education issues and cited the three degrees she has earned from ASU.
Sinema received her doctorate from the ASU School of Justice and Social Inquiries this spring.
“Having a first-class education is the key to economic success,” Sinema said.
Global studies sophomore Brian Garcia, who recently became involved with Students for Sinema, said he is impressed with Sinema as a candidate.
He said Students for Sinema will be doing whatever it can to help her in the remaining days before the election.
Garcia added that the group is employing any and every grassroots campaign strategy.
“We (are) worried about Vernon Parker eliminating the Department of Education,” Garcia said.
He said Sinema has a chance in November because Parker’s policies are too extreme for the 9th District.
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