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Student political groups strategize for local elections, look ahead to November

As the November election looms, student political groups are strategizing on how to best inform ASU students on their candidates.

ASU political groups represent a wide spectrum of political philosophies.  Republicans, libertarians, democrats and the Green Party are all present on campus.

ASU College Republicans President Kristin Middleton, a political science senior, said the group plans to focus its efforts on the Senate and 9th Congressional District races because they are more heavily contested.

“We will be focusing less on the presidential campaign,” Middleton said.

Middleton herself is heading to the Republican National Convention as Arizona’s youngest delegate at 21 years old.

“I am really looking forward to seeing the process first-hand,” Middleton said. “I will be heavily involved with (the Romney campaign).”

ASU Young Democrats Vice President Quentin Gunn, an economics and mathematics junior, said his group is working with Students for Obama, but isn’t as focused on the presidential election.

“Our main goal is to see Democrats elected on a local level in Arizona,” he said.

Their efforts will focus on trying to make Arizona more of a swing state, Gunn said.

ASU Students for Liberty President Blaine Thiederman, a finance senior, said the nonprofit organization will host a series of events this fall to inform students of their rights and freedoms.

“We support more freedom and less government,” he said.

Thiederman said he identifies as a libertarian and will be campaigning for Gary Johnson, the party’s chosen candidate. He helped organize an event on Sept. 26 where Johnson will be speaking at ASU.

ASU Green Party co-chair Nate Ralph, a sustainability senior, described the party as the “political embodiment of sustainability issues, both economic and ecological.”

“This year we will try to highlight the similarities between the (democrats and republicans),” Ralph said. “We will demonstrate how we are incredibly different.”

He said both parties were “corporatists” and he urged students to “follow the money” when voting in November.

Ralph said he is in the process of trying to bring Jill Stein, the Green Party’s presidential candidate, to speak at ASU.

Political science senior Jordan Tygh works for Romney for President, a part of the Young Americans for Romney Coalition.

He said the group is focusing on getting students involved in campaigning for Romney in other swing states.

“We’ve won in Arizona, so we’ll definitely recruit students on campus to volunteer,” Tygh said. “A big push is going to be travel and calling into the swing states.”

The group is planning trips to Nevada and Colorado in the fall.

Although their political beliefs are diverse, each group shares the common desire to see students making informed decisions when November rolls around.

Middleton said it’s important to listen to “both sides” when voting.

“Pick the side that you feel will better your future,” she said.


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