Panel of professors teaches students about political candidates

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Four professors from the history and political science department presented on April 13 as a panel on the candidates who are up for election in the Indiana primary on May 3. From the presidential election to local state representatives, the panel discussed every election that would appear on the ballot for a student voting from UIndy. Professor of History and Political Science Edward Frantz explained why the group had decided to put on the event.

“We wanted to make sure that we could have an event sufficiently before the primary itself so that students that had any questions about the process could get information,” Frantz said. “Since our department is political science, international relations and history, it’s kind of a natural space for us to convene.”

With senior political science, international relations and Spanish major Allie Kast as moderator, each panelist covered both the Republican and Democratic ballots. Assistant Professor of History and Political Science Chad Martin covered the presidential race, highlighting the abnormality of neither party having a clear winner by this point in the race. He also explained how both parties have pledged delegates that are elected by the people, but the Democratic party also has super delegates, which are individuals who are prominent party members chosen to vote at the Democratic National Convention in late July.

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Photo by Robbie Hadley

Assistant Professor of History and Political Science David Root rounded out discussion of the federal elections by addressing the race for Indiana’s open senate seat. Since the current senator, Dan Coats (R-Ind.), has decided to retire, both parties have put forth nominees for the vacant spot. Root also discussed the election for Indiana’s 7th House District where incumbent congressman Andre Carson (D-Ind.) is running for reelection. Root said that he is expected to win easily the Democratic nomination, although he does have two challengers in the party.

Frantz was the third presenter, and he highlighted the statewide elections. Most prominently, Frantz discussed the upcoming gubernatorial race. Although both incumbent governor Mike Pence (R-Ind.) and Democratic challenger John Gregg (D-Ind.) are running unopposed, he used the time to speak about how the matchup is a repeat of the 2012 race, when Pence won with only a three percent margin, according to politico.com.

Finally, Assistant Professor of History and Political Science Laura Albright discussed how students can vote either from campus or from home. For more information, refer to The Reflector’s article, Professor offers insight on the voting process.

Junior human biology major Ashley Ronvik said she attended the event so she could get a better idea of the field and become a better educated voter.

“Since the elections are so hectic right now, I thought this might clarify a lot of things for me,” Ronvik said. “I definitely learned something, especially when they talked about how millennials have much more of an impact than other demographics, and I never realized that.”

Ronvik also had a word for those who might only attention to the federal elections.

“Don’t just focus on the presidential race,” she said. “The other ones [statewide and local] are so important.”

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