The University of Connecticut College Democrats hosted State Senator Mae Flexer and State Representative Gregg Haddad Tuesday night to discuss the upcoming election.
“The College Democrats wanted to have a discussion with State Senator Mae Flexer and State Representative Gregg Haddad because we are now just one week out from voting day,” College Democrat President Megan Handau said. “There has been a lot of focus on the presidential election, obviously, however we know how important state races are. Senator Flexer and Representative Haddad will be the politicians who we can appeal to for the UConn budget, CT state policies that affect things like book prices and campus sexual assault.”
Flexer and Haddad discussed the weight of the state election and the significance of students showing up to vote.
“My first race [in 2014], I won by 520 votes, that’s two percent of the vote,” Flexer said. “Those votes came from UConn students.”
Haddad also stressed the importance of the student vote, urging students to persevere through long lines.
“We will have an attorney present in case the lines get too long,” Haddad said. “Students should be in and out in 15 minutes to get back on the buses to head back to campus.”
Haddad is referencing the election in 2008 where there the registration table at the polls was understaffed for UConn students to check in at, causing students to wait in line for two hours. This problem has been subsequently resolved.
There will be buses running to take students back and forth from the polls. The polls will be open from 6 A.M. to 8 P.M. and are located in the Mansfield Community center.
Students in attendance at the meeting expressed their excitement for turning out to vote.
“Mae and Gregg are doing an awesome job,” fifth-semester political science major Brendan Dunn said. “They are the ones who vote to support UConn’s budget, which is one of the most important things to affect UConn students. All students should turn out to vote because this really impacts them.”
Flexer was recently endorsed as one of President Obama’s 150 candidates to watch in tough local races.
This has been a difficult election for Flexer who has had many attack ads placed against her.
“My opponent has been launching really nasty ads against me,” Flexer said. “He has been criticizing my support of rape victims, which anyone who knows me knows that that is something I care a lot about.”
Haddad is having a less competitive race against former UConn student Mark Sargent
“He has really vanished from campaigning on and off campus,” Haddad said. “I am really excited about this campaign. We have been door knocking since July. There are 15,000 of our constituents at UConn who have really helped in previous elections.”
One student asked what Flexer and Haddad planned to do if they won reelection.
“My concern is over changing sexual assault in criminal justice statutes,” Flexer said. “We should be shifting away from calling it sexual assault and call it what it really is. Rape. We should be identifying the crime committed.”
Elizabeth Charash is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.