Students hit local campaign trail

Volunteers from GW’s College Democrats and College Republicans are playing important roles in the race for D.C. mayor.

The CRs sent a delegation to a Foggy Bottom Association meeting last week where Republican mayoral candidate Carol Schwartz addressed area residents. A group of student volunteers will distribute campaign literature, put up posters and work at campaign phone banks as election day approaches.

“We’ll get a call from (the Schwartz campaign) about an event they’re doing, and we’ll try to send some people,” CR Chairman Jared Hosid said. “But as an organization, we are putting all our eggs into the (Ellen) Sauerbrey campaign.”

Sauerbrey, the Republican candidate for governor of Maryland, is in a tight race against Democratic incumbent Parris Glendening.

In D.C., Democratic candidate Anthony Williams is considered a heavy favorite, so CR members said they are concentrating their efforts in the Maryland campaign by making two trips to the state to volunteer for Sauerbrey.

Despite William’s comfortable position, the CDs are getting involved in the campaign by attending rallies and other campaign events.

Senior Jason Haber, the press secretary for defeated Democratic mayoral candidate Harold Brazil, said he will campaign for Williams now that Brazil has endorsed him. However, no current GW students have full-time staff positions on either the Williams or Schwartz campaigns.

Last month, the major candidates in the Democratic mayoral primary participated in a debate at GW. Adam Segal, former president of the CDs, said the forum prompted him to side with Williams because Segal said he was the best candidate for the city and the GW community.

“Williams has the most open-minded view toward the University,” Segal said, explaining that Williams understands the issues surrounding a discounted student Metro fare and student parking rights.

“He recognizes the great contribution that GW makes to the District, and he best understands the needs of students,” Segal said.

CR Vice Chairman Brad Murphy said Schwartz impressed him when she spoke to Foggy Bottom residents at the Foggy Bottom Association meeting.

“She knows the students’ interests are very important,” he said. “She will be a mediator between the University and Foggy Bottom residents and that says a lot about her as a candidate.”

Murphy said he believes volunteering for Schwartz – who got 42 percent of the vote in her second mayoral bid in 1994 – will be a great experience for young Republicans.

“By working on a Schwartz campaign that doesn’t get the same national attention, they will get more of a closed-doors look at the campaign,” he said. “They get a more in-depth view of the political process. It’s a good way for them to get involved.”

Williams, the former chief financial officer of the city, and Schwartz, a D.C. Council member, will appear together at a debate slated for Oct. 21 at GW. Both political organizations promise their members will be present to support their candidates.

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