BY ASHLEY THOMAS
Candidates and their representatives filed into Daytona State College’s main campus Wednesday afternoon for a meet and greet. Candidate Day 2012 served as an opportunity for candidates, students and visitors to interact with each another and discuss issues affecting Volusians – just hours before the first presidential debate.
Daytona State students and staff had a chance to hear from local, state and national representatives for this season’s elections as each candidate or representative was allotted a time to speak to the audience and share their stand on issues.
“We had approximately 40 candidates show up. Some showed up that were not invited, which was great,” said Robert Grimm, director of Government Relations at Daytona State. “We had a fabulous turnout. It was a great success for the students and Student Government Association and has helped raised awareness of the election and the candidates.”
About 20 registered
Grimm said about 200 persons were in attendance at any given time and many students were involved in the process.
“The League of Women Voters registered about 20 people during the event. There was also a lot of student participation as volunteers,’’ added Grimm.
“I appreciate you coming out and sharing with our students,” Dr. Carol Eaton, president of Daytona State, was heard saying to candidate for City Commission District 2 Deltona Rob Fields and his wife, Lisa. Eaton visited with each candidate, thanking them for visiting the campus to speak with students.
Richard Rogers, a Daytona State student said, “I’m glad they came out. It shows me that they actually care about us and just because we aren’t in our 30s and 40s doesn’t mean that our voice doesn’t matter.”
The free event featured a range of candidates, including such hotly contested races as Florida State Senate District 8, Volusia County Council Chair and the Daytona Beach mayoral race.
Daytona State’s Student Government Association presented Candidate Day 2012 to provide a public forum for the season’s political candidates, bringing timely discussion to college and university students and the general public while raising awareness of civic-minded participation.