In traveling town hall, candidates seek to appeal to JMU students – an untapped well of mid-term voters
Instead of only hoping JMU students show up to vote in the Nov. 6 Election, many of the candidates in the biggest races affecting Harrisonburg will bring their campaigns to JMU students on Wednesday, Oct. 10.
Candidates or representatives from Virginia’s U.S. Senate race, the open 6th Congressional District contest and those running for the two spots on Harrisonburg city council will embark on an old fashion barnstorming tour by bus – bus-storming? – to three JMU residence hall areas. It’s being billed as a Traveling Town Hall complete with free pizza and the candidates’ best talking points. Each candidate will have between five and seven minutes to address the audience of first-time or relatively new voters.
This November, Harrisonburg voters will choose two candidates for city council out of a field of five: two Democrats, three independents but, for the second straight election, no Republican. A Republican last ran for city council seat in 2014.
Still, two of the independent candidates – Frank McMillan and Carolyn Frank – have embraced certain conservative philosophies, such as wanting to reduce the tax burden. A third independent, Paloma Saucedo, is running on a progressive platform.
That has the Democratic candidates – Chris Jones and Sal Romero – facing independent opposition from both ends of the political spectrum.
To those of us who live here, Harrisonburg is a lot of things – growing, increasingly diverse, quirky. But above all, it’s home.
Earlier this year, several of us who have an interest in news and have chosen to live in Harrisonburg – or to return here – began discussing ways we could help our community.
What emerged was the foundation for The Citizen: an online news organization that will provide, without a paywall, in-depth coverage of community issues and information we need to know to be active and informed participants in this democracy. We are driven by curiosity, not any political philosophy. And our goal is to not just explain what happened, but to provide a clearer picture of why and how using any and all tools available to us.