Tuesday, February 18, 2014

UIS students eager for gubernatorial debate

The GOP race for Illinois governor has a lot of people talking, especially students from the University of Illinois Springfield's (UIS) College Democrats and College Republicans.

Four Republican gubernatorial candidates: Kirk Dillard, Dan Rutherford, Bruce Rauner, and Bill Brady, will appear in another debate before the primary election come March.

"I'm really hoping that the candidates can step away from the scandals, from who can spend the most money, and really focus on how they are going to benefit the state and what they are going to do to make the state better," said Jeff Wilhite, UIS College of Republicans President.

On March 18, the primary election will be held for the GOP race. It's an election that 17-year-olds can participate in as long as they will be 18 by the November general election.

UIS junior Riley Quinlan says this new law will impact the younger vote, something the Republican party struggles with.

"I feel you have a lot more engagement in youth today in the process than you would several years ago," said Quinlan. "It's becoming more real to them. They are learning about the candidates more."

They're young voters who are focusing primarily on topics that would directly affect them.

"Obviously anything relating to higher education funding is pretty high priority for me, being able to go to school and get my education," said Marc Reiter, President of the UIS College of Democrats.

UIS student Democrats and Republicans are hoping education, the minimum wage, and the state's debt are addressed in tonight's debate.

"I'd like to know which one is going to cut the spending and make the hard choices to get the debt at least down in the state," said Wilhite.

The Citizens Club of Springfield will host the hour-long debate. It will take place in the Hoogland Center for the Arts starting at 6 p.m. on February 18, 2014.

The story was featured by WICS-TV 20 on February 18, 2014.

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