With a meet and greet hosted by the Allegheny College Democrats, voters were able to put a face to the names of two candidates — John Fetterman and Sue Mulvey.
College Dems has worked to spread awareness and stress the importance of voting to Allegheny and Meadville community members. Their efforts have included helping to register people to vote as well as invite local candidates to come to Allegheny’s campus to speak about campaigns.
Fetterman is running for Pennsylvania’s Lt. Governor, and Mulvey is campaigning for the Pennsylvania Senate in the 50th District. The two candidates spoke at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 15, in the Patricia Bush Tippie Alumni Center.
Fetterman and Mulvey talked to attendees about their platforms, describing why they are best fit to fill the positions they are running for.
Beginning with her experience as a local school nurse, Mulvey said she is passionate about fighting for Pennsylvania residents to have access to affordable healthcare and public education.
“Those decisions are sacred, and they’re personal,” Mulvey said. “That’s our freedom to choose our own course and we have to be allowed to do that.”
Mulvey also has plans in mind to stop oil and gas extraction by the fracking industry as well as reduce taxes on the elderly.
Fetterman spoke about how he became involved in politics and about his role as mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania. Fetterman’s running mate is Gov. Tom Wolf.
Fetterman and Wolf support similar issues, and Fetterman took time to describe the work Wolf has done as governor as well as during their campaign, specifically his work for the LGBTQ community.
“Wolf created the first LGBTQ commission in the entire country,” Fetterman said.
During the meet and greet, Fetterman discussed his opponent Scott Wagner.
“(Wagner) said, ‘You better wear a catcher’s mask … because I’m going to stomp on your face with golf cleats,” Fetterman said, referencing a viral video of Wagner yelling at a billboard on the side of a road.
In Fetterman’s opinion, Wagner has made questionable statements throughout the campaign, describing how Wagner has said climate change is caused by body heat and has compared unions to Adolf Hitler.
“(Wagner said), ‘You know what unions want, they want power just like that Adolf Hitler did,” Fetterman said.
Expanding from local government to the United States national government, Fetterman spoke about President Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and the administrative body as a whole.
“We have Donald Trump as our president because of 74,000 votes spread across three states … enough people said, ‘Eh, someone else will take care of it,’” Fetterman said. “That margin of votes was enough to elect Trump, and the world and the country will never be the same.”
Cracking a joke, Fetterman dubbed Sen. Ted Cruz as “the biggest creep” in the United States Senate.
Above all Fetterman believes every vote counts, and he thinks visiting small counties is key to a successful campaign.
“During my run for mayor, I won by only one vote,” Fetterman said. “If that one person hadn’t voted, I wouldn’t be standing here right now, running for Lieutenant Governor. I really love coming out to small counties; every vote counts … and the fact that you all chose to be here tonight means so much to me. You could’ve been spending time anywhere else, but you’re not, and that’s a big deal.”
College Dems has worked to make sure local voters are informed before voting in elections.
Jason Ferrante, ’20, echoed Fetterman’s belief that every vote matters.
“Being an informed voter is important because in an era where you can simply pull a lever and vote for one party without having to think about your choices, it’s easy to get misinformation at the voter booth,” Ferrante said. “It’s important to be an informed voter and really connect with the candidates because these are the elections that matter. A lot of people think that only national elections matter … but every single election, all the way down to your local school board has an impact on your life and the issues that matter to you. Being informed on the issues and knowing where the candidates stand is crucial for a representative democracy.”
By getting to know the candidates directly, Ferrante thinks misinformation becomes less of an issue because voters get to know who they are voting for — not just a name on a ballot.
“Knowing who you’re voting for based on what they believe, not just her name recognition is fundamental to what it means to be an American citizen,” Ferrante said.